Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut walked out of the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai on Wednesday, hours after he was granted bail by a special court in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, reported ANI.
Raut was arrested on July 31 after the Enforcement Directorate searched his house in connection with the case.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Raut’s involvement in the Patra Chawl scam, which involves an alleged fraud of Rs 1,034 crore. The agency has alleged that Raut and his aides made fraudulent financial transactions related to the redevelopment of the chawl – a building consisting of several tenements – in Mumbai.
Raut’s wife and construction company HDIL’s promoter Rakesh Wadhwan have also been accused 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 central agency.
On Wednesday, Special Judge Deshpande, allowed the bail petition of Sanjay Raut and his aide Pravin Raut, reported Live Law.
“I hold that both accused are basically arrested illegally,” observed Deshpande. “Both of them are entitled to parity in view of the disparity made by the Enforcement Directorate in not arresting the main accused persons Rakesh and Sarang, their HDIL, MHADA and government officials responsible for misdeeds of the Wadhawans at the relevant time.”
The court also observed that an innocent person cannot be dragged into a dispute in the name of money laundering as it said that the twin conditions for grant of bail were not applicable in their case, reported Live Law.
Meanwhile, after the verdict, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh requested the court to put the bail order on stay. Singh said that he wanted to read the order and chalk out the procedure of filing an appeal against it in the High Court, Bar and Bench reported.
However, at 3 pm, Special Judge MG Deshpande rejected the stay on the bail, ANI reported.
In his bail plea, Sanjay Raut had argued that the case against him was a perfect example of “abuse of power” and “political vendetta”.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate opposed the plea, saying that the Shiv Sena MP had played a major role in the money laundering case related to the Patra Chawl redevelopment and acted “behind the curtains” to avoid the money trail.