Mumbai : In a surprise move, the Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member and the party spokesman, Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha repaid a Rs 55-lakh “friendly loan” she had taken from a bank scam accused’s wife soon after the ED summoned her to seek an explanation.
It was said that the interest-free loan was taken a decade ago. On Monday, she submitted documents to the ED through a relative, showing loan repayment from funds generated from the film ‘Thackeray’ penned by her husband. Raut’s wife, Varsha was one of the producers of the movie in which noted Bollywood star, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, played the role of protagonist.
The ED, investigating money laundering case in the PMC Bank-HDIL loan scam, had issued her four summons from November last year, but she had failed to present herself before the officials. On December 29, she had sought time till January 5. She appeared before the ED on January 4.
The ED is investigating a money laundering case based on an FIR lodged by Mumbai police’s EOW against Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), PMC Bank chairman Waryam Singh and its managing director Joy Thomas, and others for causing a loss of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank and making gains for themselves. It is alleged that HDIL had siphoned off Rs 95-crore of PMC Bank’s loan funds through Pravin Raut, who is a former director of Guruashish Constructions, an HDIL subsidiary.
According to ED, Pravin Raut paid 1.6 crore to his wife Madhuri from the proceeds. Out of this money, Madhuri transferred Rs 55-lakh as an interest-free loan to Varsha. The amount was allegedly further utilised for purchase of a flat in Dadar (East). The investigation further revealed that Varsha and Madhuri are partners in Avani Construction.
The BJP had intensified its attack on Sanjay Raut after his wife Varsha was issued summons by the Ed to join the investigation in the PMC Bank scam case. The senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya asked why the Sena leader had reacted aggressively when the ED is merely seeking to interrogate his wife in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, without taking names, the Sena leader Raut even said he would beat anyone who made baseless allegations against him, and could not prove it in court, with a chappal, in front of the ED office. “Some people are making baseless allegations against me and my family. They should prove it. If they cannot do so, I will beat them in front of the ED office,” Raut who rattled with the ED summons said. A war of words has been going on between the BJP leader and the Shiv Sena for the past few days on the issue.