Mumbai: A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sent summons to Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse in connection with a Pune land deal, the Central investigating agency has summoned the wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Varsha, on December 29 for questioning in connection with the PMC Bank scam. This is the third summons issued to Varsha Raut after she skipped the earlier two on health grounds.
She has been asked to appear before the agency on December 29, a senior ED officer confirmed to The Free Press Journal on Sunday. Under the scanner of the agency are alleged transactions of Varsha Raut with the wife of an accused linked with the scam. "There are several transactions. The total amount is yet to be ascertained," said a high-ranking officer privy to the investigation.
Another officer said the summons for questioning has been issued to her under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED wants to question Varsha Raut with regard to the "receipt" of some funds that were allegedly siphoned from the bank.
Raut, in a tweet, cited two lines of a famous song, “Aa dekhen zara kisme kitna hai dum. Jamke rakhna kadam mere saathiya (Come, let's see who has more courage. Put your foot forward, firmly, my companion).”
On Saturday, after ED summons to Khadse, Raut had slammed the BJP for “targeting political opponents through Central probe agencies”.
The ED had initiated an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on October 3, 2019, against Housing Development Infrastructures Ltd. (HDIL) Directors Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan, PMC Bank’s former managing director Joy Thomas and ex-chairperson Waryam Singh and others.
This was on the basis of an FIR dated September 30, 2019, registered by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police under sections 409, 420, 465, 466 and 471, read with 120 B of Indian Penal Code, for causing wrongful loss to the PMC Bank and corresponding gain to themselves.The ED had alleged that the Wadhawans, along with Thomas and Waryam Singh, had illegally availed of loans from PMC Bank, cheating the bank and its depositors.
Initially, the RBI had allowed depositors to withdraw Rs 1,000, which was later raised to Rs 1 lakh per account, to mitigate their difficulties. PMC Bank depositors had spent the year holding protests, meeting politicians and writing to various authorities in an effort to get their hard-earned money back.