A special court in Mumbai on Monday remanded Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in judicial custody till August 22 in connection with a money-laundering case, Bar and Bench reported.
Special Judge MG Deshpande passed the order after Hiten Venegaonkar, the Enforcement Directorate’s special counsel, said that the agency does not want further custody of the Maharashtra leader.
The court, however, took cognisance of the medical reports indicating that Raut suffers from heart disease. The judge allowed Raut to have access to home-cooked meals and medicines during his time in judicial custody.
The Rajya Sabha MP was arrested on July 31 after the Enforcement Directorate searched his house in Mumbai for nine hours.
The agency is investigating a case against Raut 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.
Along with Raut, the Enforcement Directorate has accused 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 August 1, a special court remanded Raut in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till August 4. The agency had, however, sought his custody for eight days.
Later, the MP’s Enforcement Directorate custody was extended till August 8.
On Saturday, his wife Varsha Raut appeared before the Enforcement Directorate’s office in Mumbai for questioning in the case.
Sanjay Raut’s arrest
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has described Sanjay Raut’s arrest as “vendetta politics”.
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.
In June, 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.