Mumbai Court Likely to Pass Order on Sanjay Raut’s Bail Plea

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A special court in Mumbai is likely to pronounce its order on Wednesday on the bail plea of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in a money laundering case pertaining to the Patra Chawl redevelopment project.

Special Judge M G Deshpande, designated to hear cases pertaining to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), reserved the order last week after hearing arguments from both sides.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Rajya Sabha member Raut in July this year for his alleged role in financial irregularities in connection with the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl (row tenement) in suburban Goregaon.

He is currently in judicial custody and lodged at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.

Raut had in his bail plea claimed the case against him was a perfect example of “abuse of power” and “political vendetta”.

The ED had opposed Raut’s plea, saying he played a major role in the money laundering case related to the Patra Chawl redevelopment and acted “behind the curtains” to avoid the money trail.

The ED’s probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl and related financial transactions involving his wife and associates.

Siddharth Nagar, popularly known as the Patra Chawl, in Goregaon is spread over 47 acres and houses 672 tenant families.

In 2008, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), a government agency, assigned a redevelopment contract for the Chawl to Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited (GACPL), a sister company of the Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).

The GACPL was supposed to build 672 flats for the tenants and also give some flats to MHADA. It was free to sell the remaining land to private developers.

But the tenants did not get a single flat in the last 14 years as the company did not redevelop the Patra Chawl and sold land parcels and Floor Space Index (FSI) to other builders for Rs 1,034 crore, as per the ED.

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