The Enforcement Directorate has filed a chargesheet against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in connection with a money-laundering case related to the redevelopment of a tenement building, The Hindu reported on Saturday.
The agency on Friday filed a reply in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Mumbai opposing Raut’s bail petition. It told the court that it has filed a supplementary prosecution complaint, which is the Enforcement Directorate’s equivalent for a supplementary chargesheet, against the Shiv Sena leader on September 15.
The Enforcement Directorate added that it had filed the first chargesheet on April 1, according to ANI.
The agency, while opposing bail for Raut, said that he is an influential and powerful person. “If released on bail, he may influence and tamper [with] evidence,” it said. “There are instances of him threatening witnesses.”
The Enforcement Directorate said that Raut was “fully involved” in the offence of money laundering in the case.
“The role of Sanjay Raut’s proxy and confidant Praveen Raut has been comprehensively brought out in the supplementary chargesheet filed on September 15, 2022,” the agency said in its reply to the court. “In order to avoid trial, Sanjay Raut has been operating behind the curtains and Praveen Raut being his frontman.”
In June, the Enforcement Directorate had attached properties worth Rs 9 crore belonging to Praveen Raut.
The Rajya Sabha MP was arrested on July 31 after the Enforcement Directorate searched his house in Mumbai for nine hours. He is lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.
The agency has accused Raut of being involved in fraud worth Rs 1,034 crore in a case known as the Patra Chawl scam. 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 intention of completing the project. The money was used by Raut to purchase properties in the Dadar area in Mumbai and Kihim in Alibaug, alleged the Enforcement Directorate.
Raut has denied the allegations against him. In his bail petition, he claimed that the allegations against him are a perfect example of “abuse of power” and “political vendetta”.