Sanjay Raut gets bail after three and a half monthstext_fields
Mumbai: Senior leader of the Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray faction Sanjay Raut was granted bail by a special court after three and a half months in a money laundering case.
He was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate on August 1 linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a residential colony in Mumbai. The court on October 21 reserved its order on the bail petition.
The ED said the redevelopment of Patra Chawl was to be done by Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited (GACPL) and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) for 672 tenants. But, even before the construction, GACPL sold the Floor Space Index to third-party developers for a sum of Rs 1034 crore. This was proceeds of crime by illegal and unauthorised sale.
Praveen Raut, Sanjay Raut's relative and frontman, received Rs 112 crores in his bank account through Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), alleged the central investigative agency. The ED later said Praveen Raut's role in the crime has been comprehensively mentioned in the supplementary charge sheet filed on September 15.
Raut is also a close aide of Uddhav Thackeray. He claimed that the case is false and prepared against him out of political vendetta. The Rajya Sabha MP's arrest took place at a time when the Thackeray faction and Shinde faction were fighting for the control of Shiv Sena. Raut was a strong voice in the Thackeray camp. He had criticised Eknath Shinde's association with the BJP.
After Raut was arrested, Uddhav Thackeray said he is proud of his associate and that the case is a conspiracy to destroy Shiv Sena. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said Raut should not fear ED's probe against him if he is innocent. Supporters of Shiv Sena also protested against the Rajya Sabha MP's arrest.
Opposition parties also called Raut's arrest a move by the BJP-led government using central investigative agencies to target political rivals. The ED rebuffed the political vendetta accusations.