Patra Chawl Land Scam Case: Why did the ED attach wife Varsha Raut’s assets?

Sanjay Raut will be questioned by the central agency over his “business and other links” with the accused in addition to his property deals involving his wife.

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In April 2022, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) temporarily attached assets belonging to Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut, and two of his acquaintances, totalling more than Rs 11.15 crores in connection with The Patra Chawl Land Scam inquiry.

Varsha Raut owns a home in the Mumbai neighbourhood of Dadar, and she and Sujit Patkar’s wife, Swapna Patkar, jointly own eight plots at Kihim Beach in Alibaug, according to a statement from the ED. Sujit Patkar is a close friend of Sanjay Raut, the ED claims.

The properties are in the form of land owned by Sanjay Raut’s assistant and former director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd., Pravin M. Raut, who is located in the towns of Palghar, Saphale, and Padgha (in the Thane district).

According to what is known, the agency wants to speak with Sanjay Raut about his “business and other contacts” with Pravin Raut and Patkar, as well as the real estate transactions involving his wife.

The ED had claimed Pravin Raut appeared to be “acting as a front” or working with the influential person(s) after his arrest in February.

According to the results of the ED investigation so far, “around Rs 100 crore were transferred from HDIL to the account of Pravin Raut.” Pravin Raut allegedly “diverted” additional funds to his family, family relatives, commercial entities, and other accounts of his close friends. Varsha Raut, the wife of Sanjay Raut, received some of the Rs 83 lakh in proceeds of crime from Madhuri Pravin Raut, the wife of Pravin Raut, in 2010.

The agency claimed that Varsha Raut used this money to buy a flat in Dadar East. Varsha Raut sent Rs 55 lakh back to Madhuri Raut, according to ED findings. There are numerous additional transactions, it added.

The agency submitted a charge sheet against Pravin Raut in April. In relation to the PMC Bank investigation and her alleged connections to Pravin Raut’s wife, the agency also questioned Varsha Raut last year.

The investigation revealed that Madhuri Pravin Raut and Varsha Sanjay Raut are partners in Avani Construction, and Varsha Raut obtained Rs 12 lakh from this company (as overdrawn capital converted to loan) on a contribution of just Rs 5,625.

On Sunday morning, officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched Sanjay Raut’s residence in connection with his alleged involvement in the Patra Chawl Land Scam Case.

The action comes after the ED sent Raut several summonses, the most recent of which was on July 27. In connection with alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai “chawl”. And related transactions involving his wife and “associates,” Raut was called in by the ED for questioning.