ED Attaches Properties of Sanjay Raut

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Mumbai: On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate provisionally attached properties worth Rs 11.5 crores owned by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and his family members in connection with its probe into the Rs 1034 crore floor space index (FSI) fraud at Patra Chawl in Goregaon. The properties seized include eight land parcels in Alibaug and one flat at Dadar in Mumbai.

This is months after the ED arrested Maharashtra-based businessman Pravin Raut in this case and later filed a charge sheet too. The attachment is linked to a money-laundering probe linked to a Rs 1,034 crore worth scam related to the redevelopment of a chawl in Mumbai. The ED had also questioned Sujit Patkar, a business associate of the daughters of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, Purvashi and Vidhita in the case.

On February 3, the ED initiated an investigation under the provisions of PMLA on the basis of the FIR registered by the Economic Offences Wing. The agency informed that Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd had entered into a tripartite agreement with the tenants and MHADA to redevelop Patra Chawl. The Patra Chawl at Goregaon has 672 tenants in tenements on 47 acres of land belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA).

Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd is a subsidiary company of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), which is already accused of a Rs 4,300 crore fraud at the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank. Parvin Raut illegally sold FSI to various builders for Rs 1,034 crore with the help of Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, Directors of Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt Ltd. This was done without constructing the rehab flats and flats to be handed over to MHADA, which was the pre-requisite. The trio also obtained a bank loan in addition to Rs 1,034 crore received from various builders.

The investigation by the ED had also revealed that Pravin Raut being Director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd played an active role in the redevelopment project and the Wadhwans managed to divert the proceeds of crime of more than Rs 1,000 crore by harming the interest of 672 tenants and buyers.

The ED back then had also questioned Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut in connection with the PMC Bank case and her purported links with Pravin Raut’s wife. It had been found that Praveen Raut had transferred around Rs 1.6 crore to his wife who is a business partner of Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut. Of this Rs 1.6 crore, an amount of Rs 55 lakhs was allegedly transferred to Varsha Raut’s account as an interest-free loan. This money was then allegedly invested by Varsha in buying a flat at Dadar.

The ED on April 4 has seized the flat at Dadar owned by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and is investigating his role in the Rs 1,034 crore re-development land scam.

Raut accused the Centre of pursuing ‘vendetta politics’ saying that the ED action took place because he did not support the BJP in 2019 to form the government with the Shiv Sena. The ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi also came out in support of Raut, with Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray and NCP’s Dilip Walse Patil accusing the BJP of targeting the alliance.

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