A special Mumbai court on Thursday extended Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s Enforcement Directorate custody till August 8 in connection with a money-laundering case, Bar and Bench reported.
“Certainly facts of investigation demonstrate three stages, and they require further probe, by summoning witnesses and confronting accused,” Judge MG Deshpande said in the order. “However, I am of the opinion that the same can be done till August 8. Wherein ED can look into all aspects.”
On Monday, the court had remanded Raut in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till August 4. The agency had, however, sought his custody for eight days.
The Rajya Sabha MP was arrested 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 related to 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.
Meanwhile on Thursday evening, the Enforcement Directorate summoned the Shiv Sena leader’s wife Varsha Raut as well, India Today reported. However, it is not known when she has been asked to appear.
The summons were sent after transactions carried out on Varsha Raut’s bank account came to light, ANI reported, citing the central agency.
On Monday, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray described the Sanjay 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.
Raut was arrested amid an ongoing battle between factions led by Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, both of whom claim to represent the real Shiv Sena.
Earlier, the group led by 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 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.