Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday, 28 June, in connection with an alleged land scam case. However, Raut stated that he would not be able to appear before the probe agency due to a meeting in Alibaug.
"I was just told that the ED has issued fresh summons to me. Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks are fighting a big battle," Raut subsequently tweeted.
"This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route. Arrest me! Jai Hind!" he added, tagging Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis.
It is understood that the agency wants to question the Shiv Sena leader to know about his "business and other" links with Pravin Raut and Patkar and also about the property deals involving his wife, news agency PTI reported.
What Is the Patra Chawl Land Scam Case?
Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd was involved in the redevelopment of the Patra 'chawl,' which had 672 tenants in tenements on 47 acres belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA), the ED had said earlier. Guru Ashish is a subsidiary company of the Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).
HDIL is under investigation by the ED and few other agencies in connection with the almost Rs 4,300 crore alleged fraud at the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank. The ED said that Guru Ashish had entered into a "tripartite agreement' with the tenants and MHADA to re-develop the 'chawl.'
The ED claims that according to the agreement the developer had to provide flats to 672 tenants and develop flats for MHADA. Thereafter, the remaining area was to be sold by the developer.
"The directors of Guru Ashish Constructions mislead MHADA and managed to sell the FSI (floor space index) to nine developers and collected about Rs 901.79 crore without constructing the rehab portion for 672 displaced tenants and MHADA portion," it said.
The ED probe, conducted so far, found that "around Rs 100 crore were transferred from HDIL to the account of Pravin Raut."
This amount was further "diverted" by Pravin Raut to various accounts of his close associates, family member, his business entities etc, it said.
ED's investigations found that an amount of Rs 55 lakh was transferred back by Varsha Raut to Madhuri Raut. There are various other transactions too, it said.
Raut's Property Attached
The agency had questioned Varsha Raut last year in connection with the PMC Bank case and her purported links with Pravin Raut's wife.
On 5 April, the ED attached Raut's property in connection with the Rs 1,034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case, a plot in Alibaug and a flat in Mumbai's Dadar.
"ED provisionally attached assets totalling Rs 11.15 crore, in form of land held by Pravin Raut, ex-director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd, a Dadar flat of Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut & Alibaug plots jointly held by Varsha Raut & Swapna Patkar, wife of Sujit Patkar," the ED had said in a statement in April.
Raut had earlier told journalists that he was being targeted for the past two years with the action against him, only after some persons pressured him to bring down the government in Maharashtra. He added that he had already informed chairman of the Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu about the matter.
Responding to the seizure, Raut said, "Please understand the meaning of property. Am I Vijay Mallya, Am I Mehul Choksi? Am I Nirav Modi or Ambani Adani? I live in a small house. I don't have a single acre of land in my native place. Whatever I have is hard-earned money. Does the agency feel there is money laundering? Whom are you linking me with?"
(With inputs from PTI.)