SHIV SENA leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut in his bail application said the Enforcement Directorate’s case against him was filed to “crush the Opposition faced by the ruling party”.
Raut was arrested by the ED on August 1 in connection with alleged money-laundering linked to a redevelopment project in the northern suburbs of Mumbai. The special court Thursday directed the ED to file a reply to Raut’s bail plea and posted the case for hearing on September 16.
Raut said in his plea that he has been a senior Shiv Sena leader for more than 18 years and the money-laundering case is a “perfect example of abuse of power and political vendetta”. “The present applicant (Raut) is only a victim of political change of power and thereby abuse of criminal machinery at the hands of the ruling party,” his bail plea states.
The ED case pertains to Patra Chawl, where it is claimed that instead of providing houses for displaced residents, directors of infrastructure company HDIL and a company named Guru Ashish Constructions allegedly cheated them.
While seeking Raut’s remand in August, ED had alleged that the total amount of Rs 1,039.70 crore were received in the accounts of HDIL and Guru Ashish Constructions of which Rs 112 crore were received by co-accused Pravin Raut. The ED said Pravin is Raut’s “frontman” and said the MP had received proceeds of crime through him. The agency had said Raut was a beneficiary of Rs 1.06 crore linked to the case, adding subsequently that a trail of Rs 2.25 crore was also later revealed in its probe.
Raut in his plea said he has been falsely implicated and is not connected to Patra Chawl, HDIL or Guru Ashish in any manner.
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Raut states that Pravin has been named in two different complaints by the ED — the Patra Chawl case and the PMC Bank case. “…the agency has claimed that Rs 112 crore received by Pravin Raut is proceeds of crime derived from PMC Bank fraud case which is a totally different case and nowhere connected to the present case…On the other hand, the same agency in the present case claims that the same Rs 112 crore received by Pravin Raut is proceeds of crime derived from sale of FSI in Patra Chawl project…The ED cannot be allowed to show the same amount as proceeds of crime in two different cases and take action against different people for the same amount,” the bail application states, adding that Pravin’s property was attached in connection with the PMC case.
Raut’s bail plea also says the amount of Rs 1.06 crore shown as proceeds of crime was accounted for and explained. His plea also states that MHADA had granted permission to Guru Ashish to raise funds for completing the project from sale of the free sale component. “Considering the fact in totality, no scheduled offence is made out as any right, liability, violation and non-performance arising out of the agreement would be civil in nature,” the bail plea states, adding that his continued custody is illegal and unwarranted.