Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, on Thursday told a special court here that during the custody, the central agency kept him a room that had no window and ventilation.
Raut told this to special court judge M G Deshpande, designated to hear matters related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), on Thursday. The court extended Raut’s ED custody till August 8.
The ED had arrested the Sena MP on Sunday midnight in connection with the alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra ‘Chawl’ (old row tenement) in suburban Goregaon and related financial property transactions involving his wife and alleged associates.
On Monday, the court had remanded him in ED custody till August 4. At the end of his remand, the agency on Thursday produced him in the special court, which extended his ED custody.
During the hearing, when the court asked Raut if he had any complaint against the ED, he said there was nothing in particular. However, he added that the room where he has been kept has no window and ventilation.
The court then sought an explanation from the probe agency.
Special public prosecutor Hiten Venegaokar, who appeared on behalf of the ED, said Raut was kept in an AC room and hence there was no window. Raut later said that although the AC system is in place there, he cannot use it due to his health condition.
The ED then assured the court that he would be kept in a room with proper ventilation.
On Monday, the ED had told the court that Raut and his family received “proceeds of crime” worth over Rs one crore generated out of alleged irregularities in the housing redevelopment project.
The 60-year-old Rajya Sabha member is a close associate of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. He is also the chief spokesperson of the Sena and the executive editor of party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
ED summons Sanjay Raut’s wife for questioning in money laundering case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Varsha Raut, wife of arrested Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, for questioning in a money laundering investigation linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a local ‘chawl’ and linked transactions, officials said on Thursday.
Varsha Raut is expected to be confronted with her husband and some other accused involved in the case once she deposes before the central agency at its office in Ballard Estate later this week.
Sanjay Raut was arrested by the ED in this case on August 1 and a local court on Thursday sent him to further custody till August 8. The ED had earlier told the court that Sanjay Raut and his family received “proceeds of crime” worth over Rs 1 crore generated out of alleged irregularities in the housing redevelopment project.
The 60-year-old Rajya Sabha member is a close aide of Shiv Sena president and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. He had denied any wrongdoing and had called the ED case against him as “false”.
In April, the ED had provisionally attached assets worth over Rs 11.15 crore of Varsha Raut and two of associates of Sanjay Raut as part of its probe.
The attached properties are in the form of land held by Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut’s aide and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited, at Palghar, Saphale (a town in Palghar) and Padgha (in Thane district).
The properties also include a flat in Mumbai suburb Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at the Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sujit Patkar, a “close associate” of Sanjay Raut, the ED had said.
The agency is understood to have been questioning Sanjay Raut about his “business and other links” with Pravin Raut and Patkar and also about the property deals involving his wife.
After arresting Pravin Raut in February, the ED had said he appears to be “acting as a front” or in collusion with some influential person.
The agency had also said Pravin Raut had made payments to certain “politically-exposed persons”.
In the Alibaug land deal, apart from the registered value, “cash” payments were made to the sellers, the agency had alleged.
Pravin Raut was arrested by the ED in a probe linked to a Rs 1,034-crore alleged land scam related to the redevelopment of the Patra “chawl” in Mumbai’s Goregaon area. He is currently in judicial custody.
Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited was involved in the redevelopment of the “chawl”, which had 672 tenants living in tenements on 47 acres belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA), the ED had said earlier.