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Maharashtra

‘Sanjay Raut laundered proceeds of crime to the tune of over Rs 3 crore’

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The special PMLA court on Monday took cognisance of the charge sheet filed against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in connection with the Patra Chawl scam case and extended his judicial custody for 14 more days. In the charge sheet, a copy of which has been handed over to Raut, the Enforcement Directorate has claimed that the Sena leader knowingly indulged in laundering of proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 3,27,85,475. Raut, however, has claimed that he was not even aware about the Patra Chawl redevelopment case and came to know about the same in the past two years after he read about it in news. The ED charge sheet, filed last week before the special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court, also alleged that MHADA didn’t take any effective steps to protect the interest of the tenants.

As per the charge sheet, Raut, who is accused number 5 in the case, was directly involved in the redevelopment of Goregaon’s Siddharth Nagar, also known as Patra Chawl, through his proxy Pravin Raut who is accused number 3 in the case. “He indulged in the project from the stage of conception to execution. During the year 2006-07, Sanjay Raut has attended meetings along with MHADA officers and others for redevelopment of Patra Chawl chaired by the then Union agriculture minister and another meeting chaired by former chief minister. Thereafter, Rakesh Wadhawan [another accused in the case] was brought into the picture to execute the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl Project through M/s Guruashish Construction Pvt Ltd,” the ED stated in the charge sheet.

It further added, “In order to exercise control, Sanjay Rajaram Raut inducted Pravin Raut, his proxy and confidante, as a director in Guruashish Construction Pvt Ltd.” Pravin Raut holds 25 per cent stake in the firm, but the ED claimed that it was just an eye-wash and that Raut managed everything.

The charge sheet also has statements of more than 15 witnesses who confirmed Raut’s involvement in the Patra Chawl scam. It also includes the statement of Swapna Patkar, who was once a family friend of Raut. Patkar has recently filed a complaint against Raut for allegedly threatening her to not give a statement before ED. Patkar in her statement said that during 2008-09, Patra Chawl residents had approached NCP chief Sharad Pawar through one local politician for redevelopment and that after various meetings, Sanjay Raut and Pravin Raut along with Rakesh Wadhawan were asked to handle the project.

As per the terms of the agreement between the society and MHADA, the development authority was to rehabilitate 672 tenants in 767-sqft flats and the developer was entitled to develop sale component flats on the land belonging to MHADA. However, Guruashish Construction Pvt Ltd sold the FSI for Rs 1,034 crore before completing its obligation. The amount was transferred to the parent company viz HDIL. “Investigation into the money trail also revealed that Pravin Raut received around Rs 112 crore in his bank account from HDIL and further transferred the same in acquiring assets, diverting in the account of his business entity, family members etc. Thus, Sanjay Raut is knowingly involved,” ED has claimed.

Maharashtra

PIL filed in Bombay HC to seek probe in expenses of CM Eknath Shinde’s Dussehra rally

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In a petition filed in the Bombay High Court, a social worker has asked the source of money and sought a probe against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act and the Income Tax for allegedly spending “Rs 10 crore or more” during his Dussehra rally at MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) on October 5.

Deepak Jagdev, a social worker, petitioned through advocate Nitin Satpute asking the court to direct central agencies such as the CBI, Mumbai Police Economic Offence Wing, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the fund of Rs. 10 crore or more used by the unregistered party led by Eknath Shinde in the CM’s Dussehra Rally on Wednesday.

he petitioner raised the question of the use of public transport, such as the 1,700 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses, for transporting Shinde’s supporters from various parts of the state to BKC, which caused a lot of inconvenience to the average man.

Social activists have raised the question that “What is the source of money?” as huge amount of money was spent for advertisements in newspapers, to rent the BKC ground, songs, teasers, putting over 2000 hoardings, and food packets, and “more than Rs. 10 crores has been paid to the State Transport.’

Drawing comparison with incarcerated political leaders, the plea states: “If Sanjay Raut can be jailed for Rs. 56 lakh and Anil Deshmukh for Rs. 4.5 crore of his own property, then Shinde is also liable for Rs. 10 crore.”

The plea asserts that there is a high probability that black money has been used for this public rally by spending Rs 10 crore. The source of black money and funding needs to be investigated.

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Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray’s response sought to Shinde group’s claim on poll symbol

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The Election Commission on Friday wrote a letter to Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him to furnish a response along with requisite documents in the case related to dispute over claims by two groups over “real Shiv Sena”, by Saturday.

In the letter issued on Friday, the Commission said that it received an application from the (incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister) Eknath Shinde faction on October 4 to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing bye-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency.

“Chirag Shah, an advocate, on behalf of Shinde has furnished an application to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing by-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency,” said the Commission’s letter.

The Commission said that it is yet to receive a reply from the Thackeray group.

“Though your reply is yet to be received, considering the fact that by-election has been notified from 166-Andheri East Assembly constituency, it is directed that you may furnish your comments along with requisite documents as requested by the Commission’s letter, latest by 2 p.m. of 8.10.2022,” it said.

In case no reply is received, the Commission will take appropriate action in the matter accordingly, it added.

The Commission in its letter dated September 29 had requested Thackeray to furnish written submissions along with the respective documents to support claim, if any, by 2 pm, October 8.

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Maharashtra

Very soon the E-bikes will be seen at the bus stops, “B.E.S.T” has taken the target: Mumbai

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The Brihan mumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking plans to have a fleet of 5,000 e-bikes at bus stops across the city for last mile connectivity by 2023.
BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra said that passengers alighting from buses can use e-bikes to travel to their destination and back. “These vehicles can be picked up and dropped off at any e-bike station. This further strengthens BEST’s position as the country’s number one technology-oriented transport undertaking. BEST has been doing public trials of this service since June 2022, and these have received a tremendous response with more than 40,000 people registering for it,” he added. highlighted in June 2022 that the undertaking had launched a public trial of electric bikes at key city bus stops. This month, the BEST announced the induction of the first 1,000 e-bikes in western suburbs and island city, and officials said the long-term plan is to induct a fleet of 5,000 such bikes by next June.

“1,000 e-bikes will be deployed this month at 180 bus stops, and commercial and residential areas. Initially, the bikes will be available in Andheri, Vile Parle, Juhu, Santacruz, Khar, Bandra, Mahim and Dadar and then the rest of the city,” he added.

The project has been implemented under the tender ‘Selection Of Service Provider For Deploying E-Scooters For The Last-Mile Connectivity With Buses For BEST Undertaking’ in partnership with Vogo, a scooter rental service. BEST is India’s first bus transport operator to offer such integrated first and last-mile services.

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