Patra Chawl land scam case: Sanjay Raut arrested by ED after Rs 11.15 lakh seizure

The 60-year-old Raut will be produced before the special PMLA court in Mumbai at 11:30 am where the central agency will seek his remand.

Patra Chawl land scam case: Sanjay Raut arrested by ED after Rs 11.15 lakh seizure
Sanjay Raut arrested in Rs 1,034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case. Narendra Vaskar

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut was arrested at midnight by Enforcement Directorate, hours after he was detained by the central probing agency in connection with the Patra Chawl redevelopment scam case. The development comes after the ED conducted a day-long raid at Raut’s residence at Mumbai’s Bhandup on Sunday and recovered Rs 11.15 lakh of unaccounted money.

The ED reached Raut’s residence at 7 am on Sunday morning after the Shiv Sena leader failed to respond to the ED summons on the last two occasions — on July 27 and on July 20. Raut’s lawyers had told the ED officials that the Rajya Sabha MP was busy due to the ongoing Parliament session and will only be available for questioning after August 7.

On Sunday evening, the ED detained Raut for not cooperating with the officials and took him to the ED’s zonal office at south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate. Raut, while entering the ED office, said that he won’t bow down before the probing agency and he is going to get arrested soon. After six hours of questioning at the ED office, Raut was arrested at 12:05 am on Monday under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as he was not cooperating with the investigators.

The 60-year-old Raut will be produced before the special PMLA court in Mumbai at 11:30 am where the central agency will seek his remand. “Sanjay Raut has been arrested. BJP is afraid of him and got him arrested. They haven’t given us any document (regarding his arrest). He has been framed. He will be produced in court at 11.30 am,” the Sena MP’s brother Sunil Raut told news agency ANI.

Sanjay Raut told reporters that the a ‘false’ case was registered against him  based on ‘false’ evidences, and alleged that the federal agency is being used to weaken the party. Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had warned his party workers that Raut is going to get arrested, calling it a ploy to finish off the party.

The ED is looking into alleged financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 1,034 crore in the redevelopment project of the Patra Chawl in Mumbai’s Goregaon. The ED is also investigating Raut’s business and personal links with Pravin Raut, another key accused in the case and the former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL) — the company which had taken up the redevelopment project.

The ED has already attached assets worth Rs 11.15 crore, including a flat at Dadar and eight parcels of land at Alibaug, jointly held by Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha, and Swapna Patkar, wife of Raut’s “close associate” Sujit Patkar.

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