Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has been remanded to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate till August 4 by a special PMLA court in Mumbai today. The development comes a day after searches at the Shiv Sena MP’s residence, followed by his detention and subsequent arrest.
Special judge MG Deshpande, while remanding Raut to four-day ED custody, noted that considering the compass of inquiry and volume of matter, he strongly felt that custodial interrogation is necessary. However, he ruled out the agency’s demand for longer custody of eight days, stating that everything is already documented and available for the prosecution to investigate.
“In order to investigate crime thoroughly, the ED’s prayer for custody deserves to be allowed partly. Accused is remanded to ED custody till August 4,” the court said.
Earlier in the day, Raut was taken to a government hospital for a check-up by officials for the ED before he was produced before the special court. Raut, who was arrested in a money laundering case last evening, spent the night at the ED’s south Mumbai office.
Raut’s arrest on Sunday in a case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai chawl came after the ED’s nine-hour-long search at his residence. A cash amount of Rs 11.5 lakh was seized from his residence, officials said.
Raut, 60, was questioned for over six hours at the ED’s zonal office in south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate shortly after Sunday midnight. He was taken into custody at 12:05 am on Monday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as he was not cooperating in the probe, the officials claimed, reported news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a show of solidarity with the embattled MP, visited Raut’s residence and met his family members. He also lauded Raut for not buckling under pressure. “He is a real Shiv Sainik. He did bow down to the pressure…. those who did are not with us. Those who bow down to pressure cannot be Shiv Sainiks,” the Shiv Sena president said.