The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday opposed the bail plea of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut saying that he had played a major role in the Patra Chawl scam case and operated behind curtains.
The Rajya Sabha MP had filed a bail application in the Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai, saying the case against him was a perfect example of “abuse of power” and “political vendetta”, to which ED had filed its reply.
Raut, 60, was arrested on 1 August by the ED from his south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate. The close aide of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray remains in judicial custody till September 19.
The probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra chawl and related financial property transactions involving Raut’s wife and alleged associates.
“The role of Sanjay Raut’s proxy and confidant Praveen Raut has been comprehensively brought out in the supplementary charge sheet filed on September 15, 2022. In order to avoid trial Sanjay Raut has been operating behind the curtains and Praveen Raut being his frontman,” ED said in its reply, as quoted by ANI.
The ED wrote that the Shiv Sena leader is involved in the offence of money laundering defined under section 3 and punishable under Section 4 of the PMLA, 2002.
The redevelopment of Patra Chawl was to be done by Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited (GACPL) for 672 tenants with Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the ED said, adding, however, even before construction, GACPL had sold the FSI to third party developers to that costs Rs 1,034 crore.
The central probe agency further alleged that out of the Rs 1,034 crore, Praveen Raut got Rs 112 crore in his bank account through Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).
On Friday, the ED filed its written reply before special judge M G Deshpande.