Raut Refuses To Appear Before ED Tomorrow

Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday refused to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday for questioning in a money laundering case in connection with the re-development of Mumbai’s Patra Chawl case and said that he would “seek time”.

He said that he prefers to stay with the party in the time of crisis and will seek time from Enforcement Directorate.
“I knew ED is going to summon me, I won’t kneel down. No matter what the rebel MLAs do, I will not go to Guwahati. I am Balasaheb’s Shiv Sainik and I will stay with my party. I will not appear before the ED tomorrow. I will seek time from ED, but will definitely go after some time,” Raut said addressing the media persons.

Soon after he received a summons from the Enforcement Directorate, Sanjay Raut on Monday alleged there was a conspiracy to stop him from fighting a big battle and said that even if he is beheaded, he “will not take the Guwahati route.”

According to official sources, the ED had summoned the Shiv Sena leader for questioning, on Tuesday, in a money laundering case. The move comes amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra in which rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde are camping in Guwahati.

Raut further said that Balasaheb’s Shivsainiks was fighting a big battle.

The official sources also informed that the Raut has been summoned by ED for questioning in a money laundering case in connection with the re-development of Mumbai’s Patra Chawl case.

Raut has been asked to appear before the ED investigators at its regional office in Mumbai at 11 AM, an official privy to the development said.

In April this year, the ED had also attached immovable properties worth Rs 11.15 crore, including a flat at Dadar, held by Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha and eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag, jointly held by the latter with Swapna Patkar, in connection with the redevelopment scam.

Swapna is the wife of Sujit Patkar, who is a close associate of the Sena leader.

The federal agency said its investigation revealed that around Rs 100 crore was transferred from the real estate company, Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), to the account of Pravin Raut, who in turn diverted part of these funds to various accounts of his close associates, family members, and business entities.

Pravin Raut has been a director in an infrastructure company called Guruashish Constructions and is stated to be a subsidiary of the Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), an accused in the case. Pravin Raut was arrested in the past by the Maharashtra police’s economic offences wing.

The ED’s summon to Raut, who is considered to be a confidant of Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, comes amidst mounting trouble for the party in the wake of internal rebellion.

The federal agency has also been probing a Rs 4,300 crore PMC Bank money laundering case against Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut, who was questioned last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the central probe agency.

The agency is probing her role in the alleged bank loan scam with regard to the transfer of Rs 55 lakh funds by the wife of an accused in the case, Pravin Raut, apart from some other transactions.

Last year, the ED had also attached Pravin Raut’s assets worth Rs 72 crore in this case and had questioned him and his wife Madhuri Raut.

The agency had alleged that Pravin Raut had “siphoned off” funds worth Rs 95 crore from the scam-hit bank in the garb of the loan, out of which he paid Rs 1.6 crore to his wife Madhuri Raut who subsequently transferred Rs 55 lakh in two tranches to Sanjay Raut’s wife as “interest-free loan.” (ANI)

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