Witnesses changed statement within months: Sanjay Raut

Appearing for Raut on Tuesday, senior counsel Ashok Mundargi told the court that earlier these witnesses had said to the police that no money was given apart from cheque transactions, but suddenly in six to seven months changed their stand and said cash was paid too.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 10:52 PM IST
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Witnesses changed statement within months: Sanjay Raut | Kunal Patil

Mumbai: Pointing out the difference in statements of witnesses against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in the Patra Chawl redevelopment case, his advocate told a special court that they had changed particulars in it within six to seven months when they gave their statement before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), compared to their statement before the Mumbai Police.

Appearing for Raut on Tuesday, senior counsel Ashok Mundargi told the court that earlier these witnesses had said to the police that no money was given apart from cheque transactions, but suddenly in six to seven months changed their stand and said cash was paid too.

He argued that these about-turns had to be taken with a pinch of salt and the veracity of the statements had to be seen for the purpose of deciding the bail plea. The Mumbai Police had recorded the statements in Feb this year, while the ED’s statements were recorded in September. He requested the court not to rely on such statements, though the statements recorded by the ED have evidentiary value. He said the Mumbai Police statements will also have to be given value as they are statements that have changed within months.

Advocate Mundargi also said that it ‘defies logic’ that the agency had alleged earlier that Raut had received Rs. 1.06 crores as proceeds of crime, an amount that is less than 0.1 percent of the total proceeds of crime, while his alleged front man (Pravin Raut) had, as per the agency, received a much bigger amount. The court is expected to hear the ED’s arguments on Oct 10

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