The Enforcement Directorate has again called Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to testify in a money laundering case involving suspected irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai “chawl” and associated transactions involving his wife and “associates,” authorities said Tuesday. The Uddhav Thackeray supporter and Rajya Sabha MP have denied any misconduct and claimed that he was the victim of political retaliation.
Raut has been invited to state the agency’s Mumbai regional headquarters.
On July 1, he was questioned about this matter, and the investigating officer spoke with him for almost 10 hours. During that time, his statement was recorded following the penalties of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“I offered my entire assistance and responded to all of their inquiries. In the event that they call, I will return. “While leaving, Raut spoke with reporters. He said that since he has “not done anything bad in life,” he is “fearless and undeterred.”
The development occurs during a mutiny inside the Shiv Sena, where Uddhav Thackeray, a former chief minister of Maharashtra, and Eknath Shinde, the current chief minister, are at odds over the party’s emblem and leadership of the organization.
As part of this inquiry, the ED temporarily seized assets belonging to Raut’s wife, Varsha Raut and two of his acquaintances in April, totalling more than Rs 11.15 crore.
The assets are land that Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut’s assistant and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, owns in the towns of Palghar, Saphale, and Padgha (in the Thane district).
The ED had said that among these assets were an apartment owned by Varsha Raut in the Mumbai district of Dadar and eight plots at Kihim Beach in Alibaug jointly owned by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sujit Patkar, a “close colleague” of Sanjay Raut.
The agency is seeking out Sanjay Raut to learn more about his “business and other relationships” with Pravin Raut and Patkar and the real estate transactions involving his wife.
The ED had said Pravin Raut seemed to be “operating as a front” or working with a powerful someone after his detention in February.
According to the agency, it was discovered that he made payments to several “politically exposed people” throughout the investigation.
The agency had claimed that “cash” payments were made to the sellers in the Alibaug land purchase in addition to the registered value.
The ED detained Pravin Raut as part of an investigation into an alleged Rs 1,034 crore land fraud involving the redevelopment of the Patra “chawl” in Mumbai’s Goregaon neighbourhood. Authorities are now holding him. The ED had previously said that Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd was renovating the “chawl” with 672 tenants living in tenements on 47 acres belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA).