The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday provisionally attached immovable properties of over ₹11 crore of Shiv Sena’s Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut in a money laundering case relating to irregularities in the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl project at Goregaon.
The assets include eight plots at Kihim beach at Alibaug, jointly held by Mr. Raut’s wife Varsha, and Swapni, wife of Sujit Patkar, friend of the Raut family. One flat at Dadar has also been attached that belongs to Ms. Raut and some property at Palghar owned by close aide Pravin Raut, also a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited, currently in jail.
The case dates back to March 2018 when an FIR was registered under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against M/s Guru Ashish Construction, Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited’s (HDIL) promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan on basis of a complaint filed by an executive engineer of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development (MHADA). The FIR books them under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or banker or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the Central agency, M/s Guru Ashish Construction was entrusted with the development of the Patra chawl project for the rehabilitation of 672 tenants on 47 acres of land. During the relevant time, the Wadhawan brothers and Pravin Raut were the Directors of M/s Guru Ashish Construction.
As per the agreement, the developer was to provide flats to the tenants and develop flats for the MHADA, and thereafter, the remaining area to be sold by the developer. The ED contends that the directors of M/s Guru Ashish Constructions misled the MHADA and managed to sell the floor space index to nine developers and collected approx. ₹901.79 crore without constructing the rehab portion of 672 displaced tenants and the MHADA portion. The company launched one project, named Meadows, and took the booking amount of around ₹138 crore from flat buyers. The total proceeds of the crime generated by the company through the illegal activities was approximately ₹1039.79 crore.
The money trail investigation conducted so far revealed that around ₹100 crore was transferred from the HDIL to the account of Pravin Raut. This amount was diverted by him to various accounts of his close associates, family members, his business entities etc. It is also revealed that during 2010, part of the proceeds of the crime, amounting to ₹83 lakh was received by Mrs Varsha Raut directly/ indirectly from the wife of Pravin Raut. The amount of ₹55 lakh was utilised to purchase a flat at Dadar.