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Mumbai: Sanjay Raut's wife appears before ED for questioning in money laundering case


MUMBAI: Varsha Raut, wife of arrested Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, on Saturday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a 'chawl' and related transactions.

The central agency had issued summons to Varsha Raut earlier this week.

Accordingly, she reached the ED office located at Ballard Estate in south Mumbai at 10.40 am.

She is expected to be confronted with her husband, who is currently in the ED custody, and some other accused involved in the case.

Police personnel have been deployed in large numbers outside the ED office.

The central agency is conducting a probe linked to a Rs 1,034-crore alleged land scam related to the redevelopment of the Patra "chawl" in Mumbai's Goregaon area.

Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, was arrested by the ED in this case on August 1 and a local court on Thursday sent him to further custody till August 8.

The ED had earlier told the court that Sanjay Raut and his family received "proceeds of crime" worth over Rs 1 crore generated out of alleged irregularities in the housing redevelopment project.

In April, the ED had provisionally attached assets worth over Rs 11.

15 crore of Varsha Raut and two of associates of Sanjay Raut as part of its probe.

The attached properties are in the form of land held by Pravin M Raut, Sanjay Raut's aide and a former director of Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited, at Palghar, Saphale (a town in Palghar) and Padgha (in Thane district).

The properties also include a flat in Mumbai suburb Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at the Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sujit Patkar, a "close associate" of Sanjay Raut, the ED had said.

Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited was involved in the redevelopment of the chawl, which had 672 tenants living in tenements on 47 acres belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA), the ED had said earlier.

Meanwhile, Raut, has thanked opposition parties for supporting him.

Sena MP and spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi on Friday released a letter signed by Raut.

In the letter, he thanked leaders of all opposition parties including the Congress, NCP, TMC, DMK, AAP, CPI and CPI (M) for expressing solidarity with him.

The Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member was arrested on August 1 by the ED in a case related to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra Chawl, a row tenement in suburban Goregaon.

On Thursday, a court extended his ED custody till August 8.

"The toughest times show you who your reliable allies are," the letter said.

"I am thankful for the overwhelming support given to me during the political witch-hunt and motivated attack directed against me by the central government through central agencies. My fight will continue for what is right. Neither will I bow down to pressure nor will it break my resolve to see this fight through," Raut wrote.