Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has submitted statements of the Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha and friend Sujit Patkar claiming ignorance of cash having exchanged hands for purchase of land at Kihim beach in Alibaug.
Their statements form a part of the chargesheet submitted by ED before the special PMLA court, which is probing the money laundering case connected with Goregaon's Patra chawl scam in which Sanjay Raut has been named an accused.
Their statements are contradictory to the statement of another witness, the co-owner, who claimed that Patkar arranged for the cash and even now handles the MP’s cash.
The ED chargesheet claims that the proceeds of the crime generated from the Patra Chawl redevelopment was used to buy eight plots of land at Alibaug. The plots, jointly owned by Raut, his wife and a third person, were undervalued at Rs 52 lakh as against the actual value of Rs 9-10 crore.
The co-owner had claimed that the cash component was arranged by Raut and one Sujit Patkar for the buyers. Patkar collected cash from Raut and handed it over to the landowners. Patkar still handles Raut’s cash and his other businesses and has “been made director in a number of companies floated by Raut”, she claimed.
However, Patkar has denied the claim. “On being asked how the cash part of the purchase amount was arranged and by whom, he stated that he did not know,” reads his statement.
He had admitted that during the negotiations to purchase the plots, it was decided that the registration value would be according to the Ready Reckoner rate and the remaining amount would be paid in cash.
On the other hand, Varsha Raut has denied that any cash was paid to the landowners for purchase of the Alibaug property. She also claimed that in case any cash was paid, Raut and the co-owner would be aware of the same.
In her statement, she has admitted that she has borrowed Rs 55 lakh for purchasing a flat at Dadar from a family friend. In addition, she has taken loans of Rs 1.2 crore from various family friends, she has claimed.
The co-owner has claimed that it was Varsha Raut’s idea to start a resort.
However, she has claimed that it was the co-owner’s idea to purchase land at Alibaug, to which Raut agreed. Varsha Raut has further claimed that she had no involvement in either identifying the locations of the plots or in negotiations.
Since she was to jointly own the plots, Varsha Raut has claimed that the co-owner would inform her in advance about registration of papers for the purchase of plots and she would accompany her to the registrar office at Alibaug where the latter would give a cheque to the landowner.