Patra Chawl case: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut appears before ED
Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena politician Sanjay Raut, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday in connection with accusations of money laundering connected to transactions in the refurbishment of a “chawl” and related issues. Earlier this week, Varsha Raut got a summons from a central agency. Consequently, she arrived to the ED’s Ballard Estate office in south Mumbai at 10:40 am to begin her shift.
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Other potential witnesses in the case, including her husband, are expected to be brought to light on her at some point in the future. Several hundred police policemen have been posted in front of the ED.
The national agency is investigating an alleged land fraud involving the renovation of the Patra “chawl” in Mumbai’s Goregaon region, which is estimated to be worth Rs 1,034 crore.
In this instance, the ED detained Sanjay Raut, a member of India’s upper house of parliament, on August 1, and a local judge on Thursday ordered him to be held until August 8.
At a previous hearing, the ED claimed before the court that Sanjay Raut and his family had earned worth over Rs 1 crore from what it said were frauds committed during the housing renovation project.
An investigation into Sanjay Raut, Varsha Raut and two others, led the ED to temporarily seize approximately Rs 11.15 crore in property in April. Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut’s assistant and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited, owns property in Palghar, Saphale (a town in Palghar), and Padgha, which are included in the attached properties (in Thane district).
Varsha Raut also owns a home in the Mumbai district of Dadar, and she and Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sanjay Raut “close associate” Sujit Patkar, jointly own eight plots in Alibaug’s Kihim Beach.
According to the ED, Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited was engaged in the reconstruction of the chawl, which had housed 672 residents in tenements on 47 acres owned by the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA).
(With inputs from PTI)