Mon, 01 Aug 2022 10:57 AM IST
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on late Sunday night was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) following a day-long raid at his Mumbai residence in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case. As per ED officials, Rs 11.5 lakh cash was also seized from Raut's residence.
However, the 60-year-old, a leader of the Uddhav Thackeray faction, has denied any wrongdoing, saying the central probe agency wants to weaken the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra through a "false" case against him.
"I have nothing to do with any scam. I am saying this by taking the oath of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb taught us to fight and I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena," he tweeted on Sunday.
HERE's ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PATRA CHAWL LAND SCAM CASE:
WHAT's THE BACKGROUND?
An agreement was signed between Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL) and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) in 2007 to provide new homes to more than 650 tenants of Patra Chawl, which is located in Mumbai's suburban Goregaon.
As per the deal, the two also agreed to develop flats for MHADA and sell the remaining area to private developers. A tripartite agreement was also signed between GACPL, MHADA, and the tenants' society to redevelop the Patra Chawl, but no action was taken in this regard.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
The ED has claimed that Raut's close aide Pravin Raut and other directors of the GACPL didn't build a single house in Patra Chawl and instead sold the floor space index to nine private developers for Rs 901.79 crore.
The GACPL also launched a project named "The Meadows", collecting Rs 138 crore for the booking of flats. The GACPL through these "illegal activities" collected Rs 1039.79 crore, the probe agency claimed.
It also alleged that Pravin Raut received Rs 100 crore from HDIL, an amount he "diverted" to his business entities, close aides, and family members of Sanjay Raut. The Sena leader's wife Varsha allegedly received Rs 83 lakh indirectly from Pravin Raut's wife Madhuri in 2010, as per the ED. However, she transferred Rs 55 lakh back to Madhuri later.
"During the said period, eight plots of land at Kihim beach in Alibaug were also purchased in the names of Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Sanjay Raut," the ED said, as reported by The Firstpost.
"In this land deal, apart from the registered value, cash payments were made to the sellers. On identification of these assets and other assets of Pravin Raut, a provisional attachment order attaching all these assets of Pravin Raut and his associates has been issued," it added.
WHAT STEPS ED HAS TAKEN UNDER ITS PROBE?
In April, the ED provisionally attached assets worth over Rs 11.15 crore belonging to his wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation. The attached properties are in the form of land held by Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut's aide and a former director of GACPL, at Palghar, Saphale (town in Palghar) and Padgha (in Thane district).
These assets also include a flat in Mumbai's suburb Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar, a "close associate" of Sanjay Raut, the ED had said.
The agency is understood to have questioned the Sena leader about his "business and other links" with Pravin Raut and Patkar and also about the property deals involving his wife.