PMC Bank scam: Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha appears before ED

Varsha Raut, the wife of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, reached Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai on Monday, news agency ANI reported. She was summoned by the ED to appear before it in connection with PMC Bank scam case.

The agency had said on Friday (January 1) last week said that it attached assets worth Rs 72 crore of a Maharashtra-based man whose wife allegedly transferred money in the account of Raut’s wife.

The ED claimed that the arrested man, Pravin Raut, had “siphoned off” Rs 95 crore worth of funds from the scam-hit bank in the garb of loan, out of which he paid Rs 1.6 crore to his wife, Madhuri Raut, who subsequently transferred Rs 50 lakh in two tranches to Varsha Raut, wife of Sanjay Raut, as an “interest-free loan”.

Also Read | PMC Bank: ED attaches Rs 72-cr assets of man whose wife transferred funds to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s spouse

The ED has summoned Varsha Raut for questioning with regard to this transaction. She has skipped the agency’s notice thrice.

The issue led to a political blame game between the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government and the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre.

Sanjay Raut said that the BJP wants to pull down the Maharashtra government and thus by issuing the notice to his wife, it was trying to put pressure on the Sena.

“We have been getting messages from BJP leaders here [in the state] that they have prepared a list of 22 leaders from the three ruling parties to book them in various financial cases. Our MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) Pratap Sarnaik [who, along with his relatives, has also been questioned by ED in another case] is one of them. A few state BJP leaders regularly visit the ED office and obtain important documents related to leaders from the ruling parties in Maharashtra. The BJP is playing a dirty game in political rivalry by involving wives and family members of the leaders who speak out against them,” Raut had claimed during a press conference on December 28.

He also said that details regarding the Rs 50 lakh transaction have already been submitted to the ED during the correspondence.

The ED had filed a criminal case of money laundering to probe the alleged loan fraud in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank in October last year against Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), its promoters Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, his son Sarang Wadhawan, its former chairman Waryam Singh and ex-managing director Joy Thomas.

It took cognisance of a Mumbai Police economic offences wing FIR against them that charged them for causing “wrongful loss, prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank, and corresponding gains to themselves”.

The ED has attached assets of Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Wadhawan family trust and others worth Rs 293 crore and had seized jewellery worth Rs 63 crore.

A chargesheet had also been filed by it in this case.

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