A special Mumbai court on Monday remanded Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till August 4 in relation to a money-laundering case, Live Law reported.

“Considering the compass of enquiry and volume of the matter, custodial interrogation is necessary,” Special Judge MG Deshpande’s order read.

The central agency, however, had sought an eight-day custody of Raut.

The Rajya Sabha MP was arrested late on Sunday night after the Enforcement Directorate searched his house in Mumbai for nine hours.

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.

Raut has denied the allegations against him.

On Monday, Special Public Prosecutor Hiten Venegavkar, representing the Enforcement Directorate, told the court that co-accused Pravin Raut was a “frontman” of Raut, Live Law reported.

“We have statements of the land sellers in Kihim regarding certain properties there,” Venegavkar said. “Sanjay Raut and his family members have directly benefited. Offences of PMLA [Prevention of Money Laundering Act] are squarely made out.”

Venegavkar also said that the Enforcement Directorate had summoned Raut on four occasions, but he appeared before the central agency only once, NDTV reported. He also alleged that Raut tried to tamper with the evidence and key witnesses.

Senior Advocate Ashok Mundargi, appearing for Raut, said that the leader’s arrest is “all political”.

“Pravin Raut is a businessman, Sanjay Raut is also not a pauper,” Mundargi said. “Investigating agency cannot say things like we want custody because we ‘may find something’.”

Mundargi told the court that Raut is a heart patient and his interrogation cannot continue till the night.

The Enforcement Directorate assured that his questioning will not go past 10.30 pm, Live Law reported.

The court then remanded Raut to custody till August 4. Taking note that Raut suffered from a heart ailment, the judge ordered that the Enforcement Directorate should have fixed hours for interrogation and make arrangements to hospitalise the Shiv Sena leader if needed.

‘Vendetta politics’, says Uddhav Thackeray

Earlier on Monday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray met Raut’s mother, wife, daughters and other family members at the leader’s Bhandup house, PTI reported. Party members Arvind Sawant, Ravindra Waikar and Milind Narvekar were also present.

After the meeting, Thackeray addressed reporters and described Raut’s arrest as “vendetta politics”, ANI reported.

“We have to wipe out whoever speaks against us – a vendetta politics with such a mindset is going on,” he said.

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.

After Raut’s arrest, protests were held on Monday in Nashik and Mumbai.

Shiv Sena members shouted slogans and the party’s women’s wing functionaries blocked roads in Nashik’s Shalimar Chowk, PTI reported.

“Efforts are on to suppress the voice of the Shiv Sena through central agencies such as the ED,” said Vijay Karanjkar, the chief of the party’s district unit.

Sena’s Nashik unit chief Sudhakar Badgujar described the developments as a “conspiracy hatched against Raut” and blamed the BJP for the leader’s arrest.

“The Sena will not back down irrespective of the calamities that come its way and the party will support Raut,” Badgujar said.

An demonstration was also held in the Ekatmata Chowk area of Manmad town in Nashik, according to PTI. Several party members staged a protest in various parts of Mumbai as well, NDTV reported. Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned after Sena leaders staged a protest in Parliament.