The Enforcement Directorate on Monday will produce Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut before a special session court after his arrest here early this morning in connection with a money laundering case linked to irregularities involving the redevelopment of a chawl in Mumbai.
ED officials raided the Shiv Sena leader’s home on Sunday and after detaining and questioning him for several hours arrested him in the early hours today.
Raut will be taken for medical tests and later produced before a Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Raut is a close aide of Shiv Sena President and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Prior to his arrest, Sanjay Raut’s brother said yesterday: “Sanjay Raut has been arrested. BJP is afraid of him and got him arrested. They haven’t given us any document (regarding his arrest). He has been framed.” Raut was arrested after an FIR was registered against Sanjay Raut in Mumbai for allegedly threatening Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sujit Patkar, a close aide of the Shiv Sena MP.
The case was registered at the Vakola police station under sections 504,506 and 509 of IPC. An audio clip of Swapna had gone viral in which Raut was allegedly heard threatening her. Notably, Swapna Patkar is a witness in the Patra Chawl land case, for which the ED detained Raut on Sunday after hours of raids at his residence.
Meanwhile, security around the ED office and JJ hospital has been increased with over 100 officials deployed to get hold of any law and order situation. Additional Director (ED) Satyabrata Kumar was also seen at the site.
According to the sources, ED officials seized Rs 11.50 lakhs unaccounted cash from the residence of Raut earlier on Sunday. ED sleuths reached Raut’s residence around 7 am on Sunday and conducted the raid.
Soon after the ED officials detained him in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case, the Shiv Sena leader said that he “won’t be cowed down”.
Speaking to media persons, Raut said, “False charges and documents are being framed against people. All of this is being done to weaken Shiv Sena and Maharashtra. Sanjay Raut won’t be cowed down. I will not leave the party.”
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.
Refusing to join the probe and citing the Monsoon Session of Parliament as a reason for not joining the probe, he then dared the probe agency to arrest him. Later, he reached the ED office.
The ED, which took Pune-based businessman Avinash Bhosale into custody earlier in connection with the DHFL-Yes Bank case, wants to grill Raut in this matter too, as per sources.
They claimed that Patra Chawl case of ED is also linked to the DHFL case. In April this year, the ED had provisionally attached assets worth over Rs 11.15 crore belonging to Raut’s wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of its investigation.