The Enforcement Directorate late on Sunday night arrested Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, whose Mumbai house they searched for nine hours in relation to a money-laundering case, ANI reported.
The agency is investigating a case referred to as the Patra Chawl scam, which involves alleged fraud worth Rs 1,034 crore. The alleged fraudulent financial transactions are connected with the redevelopment of a chawl – a building consisting of several tenements – in Mumbai.
The Enforcement Directorate has accused Raut, his wife and construction company HDIL promoter Rakesh Wadhwan of fraudulently raising money for the project to siphon off the amount with no intent to complete the tenement.
The central agency will seek his custody before a court at 11.30 am on Monday, according to ANI.
“BJP is afraid of him and got him [Sanjay Raut] arrested,” the MP’s brother Sunil Raut said. “They have not given us any document [regarding his arrest]. He has been framed.”
On Sunday, the Enforcement Directorate took Raut to its office after conducting searches at his house. This came after Raut had skipped summons issued by the agency twice – on July 20 and July 27. He had sought time till August 7 citing the ongoing session of Parliament.
Raut’s counsel Vikrant Sabne on Sunday evening said that the agency had taken documents which it thought were important. He also said that the MP at that time was neither arrested nor detained.
Raut has denied the allegations against him.
“False charges and documents are being framed against people,” the leader said on Sunday. “All of this is being done to weaken Shiv Sena and Maharashtra. Sanjay Raut won’t be cowed down.”
The summons to Raut had come amid a political crisis in Maharashtra and within the Shiv Sena after a faction led by MLA Eknath Shinde rebelled against the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government – a coalition of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Subsequently, the coalition was ousted from power as the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction was reduced to a minority in the state Assembly. Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra on June 30, while the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as his deputy.