Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut was granted bail by a Special PMLA court on Wednesday in the Patra Chawl redevelopment money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.
Pravin Raut, Raut’s aide, was also granted bail by Special Judge MG Deshpande.
On July 31, 2022, Sanjay Raut was arrested and charged with violating Section 3 read with Section 2(1)(u) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. (PMLA). A prosecution complaint had previously been filed against four others. The ED said that Raut received Rs. 3.27 crore from Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt. Ltd through his “proxy” Pravin (GACPL). This includes funds received through banking methods as well as cash from GACPL’s co-accused directors.
However, Raut claimed, through senior counsel Ashok Mundargi and advocate Vikrant Sabne, that there was no evidence to imply that the Rajya Sabha MP was ever involved in offering any favours to the Patra Chawl redevelopment project.
ASG Ani Singh opposed his bail application. “Sanjay Raut’s contribution in giving Patra Chawl Redevelopment Scheme M/s. Guru Ashish Constructions Pvt. Ltd. is critical. He had introduced Pravin Raut as his front in Guru Ashish at a 25% stake in the company with no investment. Various statements indicate that Pravin Raut was a front for Sanjay Raut and was acting on his behalf in the project “, according to the chargesheets.
According to the ED, GACPL entered into an arrangement with MHADA for the reconstruction of Patra Chawl in Goregaon. It was meant to build flats for the chawl’s 672 occupants. GACPL was entitled to a free sale component (FSI) of MHADA’s land as well as the right to sell flats to other parties. GACPL, on the other hand, illegally sold the FSI to various third-party purchasers and collected over 1,034 crores without satisfying its obligations to the tenants and MHADA. This sum was transferred to HDIL and other sibling companies.
According to the ED complaint (chargesheet), the directors of GACPL colluded with Sanjay Raut to launder money through the Patra Chawl Redevelopment Project. Because of Pravin Raut’s proximity to Sanjay Raut, the FSI was sold to GACPL. According to ED, Sanjay Raut was involved in the development project from the beginning to the end. He attended discussions for the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl chaired by the Union Agriculture Minister and the Chief Minister, as well as MHADA staff and others.
According to the chargesheet, Sanjay Raut appointed Pravin Raut as a director of GACPL for a 25% stake without investing in the company in order to exert control over the project. Pravin Raut was just a frontman for Sanjay Raut, who was running the show behind the scenes.
The ED further claims that Sanjay Raut earned 112 crores from HDIL, which he used to buy various assets and redirect to his business associates and family members. As a result, he is knowingly implicated in the generation and transfer of criminal proceeds.
According to the ED, Sanjay Raut amassed numerous properties, including land in Alibaug, while the profits of crime were being syphoned off. He also utilised Pravin Raut’s money to buy assets in Kihim for 2.04 crores for a proposed resort project.
According to the chargesheet, the testimony of witnesses who sold Raut the land in Alibaug proved that Sanjay Raut was the real person behind the sale agreement who pressured them into selling the land. He also made a monetary payment.
According to the chargesheet, Pravin Raut entrusted Sanjay Raut with large quantities of unaccounted cash obtained from the Patra Chawl Project.