Arrested Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife, Varsha Raut, has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on money-laundering charges in an alleged scam in a housing project, it is learnt. This came just hours after Sanjay Raut’s ED custody was extended till August 8 by a a special court in Mumbai. The date for which Varsha Raut been summoned wasn’t immediately known.
Varsha Raut has repeatedly been named by the central probe agency but she hasn’t been questioned so far.
Four months ago, the ED — which alleges a Rs 1,000-crore scam in the redevelopment of Patra Chawl in Mumbai’s Goregaon — had attached Rs 11 crore worth of assets of Varsha Raut and two of Sanjay Raut’s associates.
These included a flat in Dadar held by Varsha Raut, besides eight plots in Alibaug that she held jointly with Swapna Patkar. Wife of Sujit Patkar, a “close associate” of Sanjay Raut, Swapna Patkar is now a witness in the case. She allegedly got a “rape and murder threat” last month but Sanjay Raut has denied any link with it.
Today in court, the ED alleged that the Raut family received “proceeds of crime” worth over Rs 1 crore for facilitating irregularities in the Patra Chawl project.
Rejecting the charges, Sanjay Raut also told the court that he’s being kept “without ventilation”, but the ED said he’s being kept in an “airconditioned” room, hence there’s no window.
We have faith in judiciary. Today, Court has ordered to send him (Sanjay Raut) to ED custody till 8th August. Sanjay Raut is a true Shiv Sainik of Balasaheb Thackeray, he will never do any corruption. BJP is scared of him: Sunil Raut, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s brother pic.twitter.com/yfDThoxWrs
— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2022
Mr Raut, 60, is a Rajya Sabha member and a close aide of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. He and the party have alleged that the ED action is political vendetta by the BJP-led central government. This is one of several cases in recent times that have led to similar allegations of misuse of central agencies.