No relief for Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in Patra Chawl scam, custody extended until Sept 5
The Enforcement Directorate's probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of the Patra 'chawl' and related financial transactions involving Sanjay Raut's wife and associates. A special court here on Monday remanded Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to judicial custody till 5 September in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai 'chawl'.
In the Patra Chawl land fraud case, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court prolonged Sanjay Raut's judicial detention till September 5. As Raut is a powerful figure and it is possible that he may tamper with the evidence, the inquiry will be hampered, according to the investigating agency Enforcement Directorate, if he is released at this time.
Sanjay Raut could not provide an explanation for his involvement in the alleged crime during custodial questioning, according to the ED, which had detained the Sena Rajya Sabha member on August 1.
After eight days in ED's care, Raut was transferred to judicial custody on August 9 after ED argued that no more involuntary interrogation of him was required.
On the basis of claims made by his co-accused Pravin Raut, Raut was detained on suspicion of receiving criminal earnings from the Patra Chawl reconstruction project in Kandivali. The ED originally said that Raut's family received Rs 1.06 crore as "direct beneficiaries" and subsequently asserted that a new trail for an additional Rs 2.25 crore had been found. Raut has refuted the charges. Varsha, Raut's wife, was also questioned by the ED in its headquarters.
In a custody interview, the ED said that Raut dodged questions and failed to explain his role, despite having unique knowledge of it. It added that the probe into a case involving criminal gains totaling around Rs 1,039.79 crore was at a critical point. The ED stated that more investigations are necessary to determine the full role of the accused and the participation of other people in order to uncover additional criminal proceeds.
The suspected financial irregularities in the reconstruction of the Patra "chawl" and associated financial transactions involving Raut's wife and acquaintances are the subject of the ED investigation. The funds reportedly went toward purchasing real estate in the neighbouring Raigad district in Alibaug.