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ED issues fresh summons to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for July 27


NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a fresh summons to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, asking him to appear before it in Mumbai on July 27, after he skipped the call for Wednesday for questioning in a money-laundering case.

The Rajya Sabha MP’s lawyers met ED officials in Mumbai with his written response to the summons and sought time for him after the first week of August.

Sources said Raut (60) expressed his inability to appear before the agency at its Mumbai zonal office on Wednesday as he is attending the ongoing Parliament session in Delhi.

The ED gave him relief for only a week and according to officials, he has now been asked to depose before the federal probe agency on July 27.

The Sena leader has denied any wrongdoing and alleged that he is being targeted due to political vendetta.

Raut is a loyalist of former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who was recently forced out of office following a rebellion and split in the Shiv Sena.

The Rajya Sabha MP was questioned in the case on July 1. He had spent about 10 hours with the investigating officer during which his statement was recorded under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The development comes amid a rebellion in the Shiv Sena, with a tussle over the party symbol and the control of the organisation between Thackeray and current Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

“I gave full cooperation and answered all their questions. I will appear again if they call me,” Raut had told reporters after he was grilled by the ED on July 1.

He had said he was “fearless and undaunted” as he had “not done anything wrong in life”.

In April, the ED had provisionally attached assets worth over Rs 11.15 crore of Raut’s wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates 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.

The agency wants to question Sanjay Raut to know about his “business and other links” with Pravin Raut and Patkar and also about the property deals involving his wife.

After arresting Pravin Raut in February, the ED had said he appears to be “acting as a front” or in collusion with some influential person.

The agency had also said Pravin Raut had made payments to certain “politically-exposed persons”.

In the Alibaug land deal, apart from the registered value, “cash” payments were also made to the sellers, the agency had alleged.

Pravin Raut was arrested by the ED in a probe linked to a Rs 1,034-crore alleged land scam related to the re-development of the Patra “chawl” in Mumbai’s Goregaon area. He is currently in judicial custody.

Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited was involved in the re-development 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. (PTI)

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