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Sanjay Raut’s premises searched by Enforcement Directorate in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate on Sunday carried out searches at the premises of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in relation to a money laundering case, ANI reported.

This came after Raut had skipped summons issued by the agency twice – on July 20 and July 27. He had sought time till August 7 citing the ongoing session of Parliament, according to the Hindustan Times.

The Enforcement Directorate had last questioned Raut on July 1 for nearly 10 hours, following which the Shiv Sena leader had said it was his duty to appear before the central agencies if they have any doubt in their minds.

The agency is investigating a money laundering case referred to as the Patra Chawl scan, which involves alleged fraud worth Rs 1,034 crore. The alleged fraudulent financial transactions are connected with the redevelopment of a chawl – a building consisting of several tenements – in Mumbai.

The Enforcement Directorate has accused Raut, his wife and construction company HDIL promoter Rakesh Wadhwan of fraudulently raising money for the project to siphon off the amount with no intent to complete the tenement.

Raut has denied any wrongdoing and has claimed he is being targeted due to a political vendetta.

The summons to Raut had came amid a political crisis in Maharashtra and within the Shiv Sena after a faction led by MLA Eknath Shinde rebelled against the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government – a coalition of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.

Subsequently, the coalition was ousted from power as the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction was reduced to a minority in the state Assembly. Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra on June 30, while the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as his deputy.

On Sunday morning, Raut reiterated that he has nothing to do with the case.

“I am saying this by taking the oath of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray,” he wrote in a tweet. “Balasaheb [Thackeray] taught us to fight and I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena.”

In another tweet, he wrote: “False action. False evidence. I will not leave Shiv Sena. Even if I die, I will not surrender. Jai Maharashtra.”

Meanwhile, the BJP said that Raut should not be scared of the Enforcement Directorate if he is innocent.

“Why is he scared of Enforcement Directorate if he is innocent?” BJP MLA Ram Kadam said in a tweet. “He has all the time to give press conference but no time to visit the probe agency office for questioning.”

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