Patra Chawl scam case: Raut operated behind curtains, says ED

Raut is being probed in connection with the re-development of Mumbai's Patra Chawl. He is in judicial custody till Monday (September 19).
Sanjay Raut
Sanjay RautANI

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday opposed the bail application of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, stating that he has played a major role in the money-laundering case related to Patra Chawl scam case and operated behind curtains. Sanjay Raut had filed an application for bail in the Special PMLA Court in Mumbai, to which the ED filed its reply.

ED on Friday filed a reply in a special PMLA court and has opposed the bail application of Sanjay Raut and has said that Sanjay Raut is accused of money laundering for which ED has sufficient evidence. ED has mentioned in its reply that it filed a supplementary prosecution complaint against Sanjay Raut on September 15.

It said that the first prosecution complaint against Sanjay Raut was filed on April 1, 2022. The enforcement directorate while opposing the bail plea of Sanjay Raut has levelled several allegations against Sanjay Raut.

"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," said ED. The probe agency denied Raut's claim that the action against him was motivated by malice or political vendetta.

"It is humbly submitted that Sanjay Raut is fully involved in the offence of money laundering defined under section 3 and punishable under Section 4 of the PMLA Act 2002," it said. "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) but even before the construction GACPL sold the FSI to third-party developers for a sum of Rs 1034 crore. This Rs 1,034 crore was an amount from proceeds of crime (POC) by the illegal and unauthorised sale of FSI to developers. Out of POC of 1034 crores, Praveen Raut got 112 crores in his bank account through Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL)," the ED said.

The probe agency further said that the investigations till now have revealed that Sanjay Raut had utilised Rs 3,27,85,475 from this POC for creating assets. "Apart from this spending, the proceeds of crime were utilised in pleasure trips and other expenses. Details of the same expenses have been brought out in the supplementary prosecution complaint filed by ED on September 15," it added.

In April this year, the ED had attached immovable properties worth Rs 11.15 crore, including a flat at Dadar, held by Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha and eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag, jointly held by the latter with Swapna Patkar. On June 28 this year, Sanjay Raut was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the prevention of the money laundering case pertaining to the Rs 1,034 crore Patra Chawl land scam.

Raut is being probed in connection with the re-development of Mumbai's Patra Chawl. He is in judicial custody till Monday (September 19).

Raut is a close aide of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Raut was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 1 in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl in suburban Goregaon.

After being in the ED's custody initially, the Shiv Sena leader was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on August 8. However, on August 22, a special PMLA court extended Raut's custody till September 5 which was again extended till September 19. ED officials raided the Shiv Sena leader's home on July 31, and after detaining and questioning him for several hours, arrested him on August 1.

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