Sanjay Raut sent to judicial custody till Aug 22; to join NCP MLAs in Arthur Road Jail

In a massive development on Monday, a special PMLA court in Mumbai sent Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut to judicial custody for 14 days, i.e until August 22. As his ED custody was ending today, he was produced before the court. However, the ED counsel Hiten Venegaonkar informed the court that the central agency doesn’t want his custody anymore. Noting that Raut has no complaint of ill-treatment during his ED custody, the court allowed the application to permit him home-cooked food and medicines in jail. He was sent to the Arthur Road Jail where NCP MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh are languishing.

Sanjay Raut’s arrest

On the morning of July 31, the ED raided the Bhandup residence of Sanjay Raut in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam, grilled him for several hours and took him to its zonal office in south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate for further questioning. Rs.11.5 lakh unaccounted money was recovered from his residence. Before entering the ED office, he told the media that it was a “false case” and vowed to not desert the Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray. In a show of solidarity, Thackeray personally visited his home to meet his family members. As per sources, Raut is likely to be grilled in the Pearl scam soon. 

The Patra Chawl land scam

In 2008, the MHADA gave the contract for redeveloping Patra Chawl located in Mumbai to GACPL, a subsidiary of real estate firm HDIL. A tripartite agreement was signed between GACPL, MHADA and the tenants’ society to provide flats to the people living in 672 houses, develop flats for MHADA and sell the remaining area to private builders. However, the ED claimed that GACPL neither constructed the flats for the tenants as well as MHADA. Instead, it sold the floor space index to 9 private developers for about Rs.901.79 crore.

Moreover, the firm also collected Rs.138 crore as the booking amount for its housing project called Meadows. As per the central agency, Pravin Raut, who was a director of GACPL, received approximately Rs.100 crore from HDIL and diverted it to accounts of his close associates, family members and business entities. The ED alleged that Rs.83 lakh which was a part of the “proceeds of crime” was transferred to Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha who purportedly used this money to buy a flat in Dadar. Furthermore, Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar purchased at least 8 plots of land at the Kihim beach at Alibaug in Maharashtra. 

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