Arguments conclude on Raut's bail plea in money laundering case

Last month, the Sena leader had sought bail from the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.
Sanjay Raut
Sanjay RautANI

MUMBAI: Arguments concluded on Friday on Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's bail plea before a special court here in a money laundering case pertaining to the Patra Chawl redevelopment project.

However, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the case, sought time to file a written submission.

Special judge M G Deshpande adjourned the matter till November 2 and extended the judicial custody of the accused until then.

The Rajya Sabha member was arrested in July for his alleged role in the financial irregularities pertaining to the redevelopment of Patra Chawl in Goregaon area of north Mumbai.

Last month, the Sena leader had sought bail from the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court.

Opposing the bail plea, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh had submitted that the Sena leader and his aide Pravin Raut, a co-accused in the case, might have received more proceeds of the crime. The probe agency has told the court that as of now, Sanjay Raut received Rs 3.27 crore of the total proceeds of the crime.

Singh reiterated the ED's claim that the Sena leader was working behind the scenes through his proxy Pravin Raut.

However, Raut's advocate Ashok Mundargi had argued that there was no evidence on record to suggest that the Rajya Sabha MP was instrumental in giving any favours to the Patra Chawl redevelopment project at any point in time.

The ED probe pertains to the alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra Chawl and related financial transactions involving his wife and associates.

Siddharth Nagar, popularly known as Patra Chawl, in suburban Goregaon is spread over 47 acres and houses 672 tenant families.

In 2008, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) had assigned a redevelopment contract for the chawl to Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited (GACPL), a sister company of HDIL (Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd).

The GACPL was supposed to build 672 flats for the tenants and give some flats to the MHADA. It was free to sell the remaining land to private developers.

According to the probe agency, the tenants did not get a single flat in the last 14 years, as the company did not redevelop Patra Chawl, but sold land parcels and floor space index (FSI) to other builders for Rs 1,034 crore.

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