Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, on Tuesday sought more time from the Enforcement Directorate to appear before its investigators in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank scam case, reported the Hindustan Times. She sought more time on the same day she was asked to appear before the central agency.
“We have asked for about four more days,” Sanjay Raut told reporters in Mumbai. The Shiv Sena leader added that he was yet to see a copy of the notice served to his wife, but he would reply to it nonetheless.
“Despite differences, we respect the central agencies,” he said. “It is an action [taken] out of political vendetta and everybody knows it. I am a Rajya Sabha MP and a lawmaker. I will respect the law despite some people holding it hostage and managing to evade action.”
Raut denied any wrongdoing, alleging that those indulging in financial scams tend to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. He claimed to have a list of “120 BJP leaders who are fit case” for a probe by the law enforcement agency, according to NDTV. If exposed, “They will have to take flights out of the country like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya,” the Shiv Sena leader added.
The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, is looking into allegations that the PMC bank did not report all its non-performing assets, or bad loans, after providing funds to a number of companies. The scam, which is said to be worth Rs 4,355 crore, had caused a huge liquidity crisis in 2019.
The allegations against Varsha Raut relate to certain financial transactions that were allegedly made between her and one Pravin Raut, who has already been arrested in the case. She had skipped the two previous summons on health grounds.
Sanjay Raut claimed that he was in regular touch with the Enforcement Directorate since last month in relation to a Rs 50 lakh loan his wife took 10 years ago. Varsha Raut took the loan from a friend to buy a house, the Shiv Sena MP claimed, adding that they had already submitted all details about the transaction to the central agency.
“We are middle class people,” he added. “Details have been given to the Income Tax [department] and also mentioned it in my Rajya Sabha affidavit. The ED woke up to this deal after 10 years.”