Court extends Sanjay Raut’s ED custody till Aug 8; wife summoned
Mumbai : A Mumbai Special Court on Thursday extended Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s custody to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by 4 days till August 8.The ED has also summoned Raut’s wife Varsha for investigation after certain fresh details have emerged in the case.
Raut, who was arrested in the early hours of Monday in an alleged money-laundering case, was remanded to ED custody till August 4 and produced before a Special PMLA Court this afternoon.
The ED sought an extended custody for Raut till August 10 as it had secured certain documents and wanted to probe related matters, besides investigating other accused in the 2018 case pertaining to money-laundering arising out of the Patra Chawl redevelopment project in Goregaon.
At the hearing, Raut and his lawyers informed the Special Judge M.G. Deshpande of lack of proper ventilation in his jail cell but the ED lawyers dismissed the charges saying he is lodged in an airconditioned cell.
Pleading for custody till August 10, the ED’s Special Counsel Hiten Venegaonkar argued that Raut was not cooperating with the investigators and evading replies, the sleuths wanted to probe the bank transactions in his wife (Varsha Sanjay Raut)’s accounts, comprising Rs 1.08 crore and an additional Rs 1.17 crore.
Raut’s Senior Advocate Manoj Mohite contended that the ED has already carried out a thorough probe and his client’s statement was recorded prior to the arrest on August 1, but hardly any investigation was done after he was taken into custody with the same allegations being repeated.
Special Judge Deshpande said that the ED has made legitimate progress in its probe and certain aspects require to be investigated by confronting the accused with the witnesses.
It may be recalled that the ED had raided Raut’s residence in Bhandup at dawn on Sunday (July 31), interrogated him at his home for nearly 10 hours before taking him to the agency’s office under detention for further questioning, and finally arrested him shortly after midnight on Monday.
The ED has alleged that one of the project developers who indulged in a scam of over Rs 1,039 crore is a close associate of Sanjay Raut.Raut’s team has claimed that the entire case is politically motivated and intended to harass him as he has been exposing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since the past over two-and-half years.
Meanwhile, Raut’s brother, Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Raut said that they had full faith in the judiciary and the BJP is scared of him.