Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's wife, Varsha, who has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) skipped appearing before the agency on Tuesday and has sought more time.
She was slated to arrive before the agency after being summoned to join the investigation over certain suspicious transactions. Sanjay Raut has denied the allegations and stated that they demanded two to four days of time on Tuesday. Raut denied any wrongdoings and stated that he has a list of 120 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who are “fit for a case”. The leader added that he respects the law and notice, but alleged that the law is misused for political purposes.
Raut posted a four-line poem from an anonymous poet and wrote, "Tum lakh koshish kar lo mujhe badnaam karne ki, main jab bhi bikhra hu dugni raftar se nikhra hun (You try a million times to discredit me. I have come out twice as fast whenever I'm scattered)." This was the third summon issued to Varsha who will now face the agency in the first week of January. Under scrutiny are loans or dues of Varsha Raut. Amongst the transactions that are under the scanner is a loan of Rs 55 lakh acquired from one Madhuri Raut, the wife of one Pravin Raut, who has been associated with Guruashish Constructions, which is linked to the Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL).
An explanation in this regard is likely to be sought during the questioning. The declaration in Sanjay Raut’s election affidavit also mentions the dues. ED sources stated that there are other transactions that are also under the ambit of the probe. Over 73% of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank’s loan exposure was to HDIL, the ED probe revealed. HDIL’s Sarang Wadhawan and his father Rakesh Wadhawan are also directors in the firm. The Wadhawans are also accused in the PMC Bank scam case. Pravin Raut was arrested by Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in February this year in connection with alleged irregularities in a redevelopment project allotted by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
The redevelopment of Patrawala Chawl in Goregaon has been delayed and mired in controversies since 2007 after an agreement was signed with Guruashish Construction Private Limited. In 2007, MHADA allowed a developer to redevelop and rehabilitate 672 chawl tenants. However, it received complaints that he sold parts of the land to other builders. It has been over a decade that the residents have handed over their homes to the builder for redevelopment. The redevelopment work stopped in 2015 and residents have not been paid any rent for the past five years.
MHADA has alleged that the developer did not complete the project and instead allotted the redevelopment of the plot to nine different developers for over 1,000 crore. No consent was taken from the authority and there were violations as per the agreement. The housing department had received numerous complaints from residents that the firm had given the developer’s sale component in the project to another developer.