Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and his wife Varsha Raut received Rs. 1.06 crores in their accounts from proceeds of crime in the money laundering case concerning Goregaon's Patra Chawl, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court on Monday.
They had received this from a businessman Pravin Raut Rs. 112 crores that the businessman was a beneficiary of. Giving a break up of the Rs. 1.06 crores, the ED said in 2009-10 Varsha Raut received Rs. 55 lakhs, which was used to purchase a flat. The couple received another Rs. 37 lakh from one Prathamesh Developer, a business entity of Pravin Raut against an investment of Rs. 29 lakhs. The third amount was of Rs. 13.94 lakhs received by Varsha Raut against an investment of Rs. 5,600 in the firm Avni Infrastructure. This firm was created by Sanjay Raut and Pravin Raut to route the proceeds of crime, it alleged. It said the Sena leader projected this amount of Rs. 1 crore as untainted and invested it in acquiring assets.
The businessman was arrested in February and the Central agency called him a "frontman" of Raut.
The case concerns the alleged siphoning of money in the Patra Chawl redevelopment project to the tune of over Rs. 1039 crores by Rakesh Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan and Pravin Raut - all directors of Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt. Ltd., that was in charge of the project.
Raut's advocate counsel Ashok Mundargi opposed custodial interrogation, calling it an action due to "political vendetta".
In its remand report seeking eight days' custody of the Sena MP, the ED stated that Sanjay Raut along with the businessman and the Wadhawans conspired to siphon off monies from the project without completing it, thus jeopardizing the future of 672 tenants whose dwellings had been demolished.
The ED's prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar also alleged that Sanjay Raut has threatened a key witness not to name him before the ED and that if the witness does so, she would face dire consequences. The prosecutor also said that Raut had received its summons thrice, but avoided it on two occasions. On this Raut's counsel told the court that Raut had intimated to the ED that he could not attend the summonses as these coincided with state MLC elections as well as Presidential and Vice-presidential elections. He said Raut was the main coordinator for his party. Special Judge MG Deshpande agreed with the submission and said the court strongly feels it cannot be said that Raut has not cooperated, but granted the ED Raut's custody till Thursday noting the compass of inquiry and volume of matter.
It also directed on the request of his lawyer, that the agency shall maintain the hours of interrogation considering that Raut is a heart patient.