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Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut arrested by ED: What is the Patra Chawl redevelopment scam?

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadAug 01, 2022 | 09:38

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut arrested by ED: What is the Patra Chawl redevelopment scam?

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut arrested by ED in money laundering case. Photo: @rautsanjay61/Twitter

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is on a hunt to unearth stolen mountains of wealth from lawmakers. The latest in the clutches of ED is Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut in Maharashtra. Raut was arrested by the ED on Sunday, July 31, 2022, on suspicion of money laundering in the over Rs 1,000 crore Patra Chawl redevelopment scam.

What happened on Sunday? The ED raided Sanjay Raut's bungalow in Bhandup, Mumbai for nearly 8-hours on Sunday in the redevelopment case. The ED came knocking on Raut's doors after he refused to show up for questioning when summoned. 

On Sunday, the ED found Rs 11.5 lakh in cash at Raut's residence. Sanjay Raut's MLA brother Sunil Raut claimed that the amount was party fund meant to finance Eknath Shinde's (current Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena rebel) Ayodhya trip. 

Sunil Raut also claimed that the ED did not find any documents related to the case. The Raut brothers called it a sham case. Sanjay Raut also claimed that it was an attempt to force him to rebel against the Udhhav Thackeray camp in Shiv Sena and join Eknath Shinde. 

An FIR has also been filed against Sanjay Raut for allegedly threatening a woman witness, Swapna Patkar, in the case. He is likely to be produced before the PMLA court in Mumbai on Monday, August 1.

What is the Patra Chawl redevelopment scam? It pertains to a 2008 redevelopment case of a locality in the northern suburbs of Mumbai. 

  1. Patra Chawl or Siddharth Nagar located in Goregaon housed 672 tenants over an area of 47 acres.
  2. In 2008, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) gave the contract for the redevelopment project to Guru Ashish Construction Private Limited (GACPL).
  3. GACPL was meant to rehabilitate the 672 tenants, provide remaining flats to the MHADA and sell the remaining redeveloped area to private developers. 
  4. However, more than 14 years later, the tenants have not gotten back their houses, nor the MHADA has been provided with the promised flats. 
  5. The ED claims directors of GACPL including Pravin Raut, a close associate of Sanjay Raut, illegally sold the floor space index (FSI) to nine private developers for Rs 901.79 crore
  6. Moreover, GACPL also launched a housing project called Meadows and collected Rs 138 crore in booking amount from flat buyers. 
  7. GACPL was also supposed to pay the rent to 672 tenants till the completion of the project, but the payments stopped in 2014-15, leading to complaints. 
  8. In 2018, the MHADA then issued a termination notice to GACPL over non-payment of rent, delays etc.
  9. The nine developers who had bought the FSI from GACPL also sued the company in Bombay High Court. 
  10. As of February 2022, the redevelopment project has resumed under the MHADA.

The ED has found what it calls proceeds of crime taken by Pravin Raut, being routed to several close associates including Sanjay Raut's family. There are several flats and plots of land in the name of Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha which were reportedly bought using the stolen money. The ED has found at least eight land parcels jointly owned by Varsha and Swapna Patkar (the witness allegedly threatened in the case), the estranged wife of a businessman.

Last updated: August 01, 2022 | 09:38
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