Sanjay Raut’s spouse summoned by ED, Shiv Sena says misuse of central probe agency

High profile Shiv Sena leader  Sanjay Raut has described it as a political vendetta after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned his wife Varsha Raut again in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam case related to the transaction of 55 lakh between her and an associate. She has been asked to join the investigation on December 29. This is stated to be the third summons sent to the Sena leader’s wife. She had skipped the earlier two summons citing ill health, sources said. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Varsha Raut, wife of Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in connection with the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam case. In September last year, the RBI had capped the withdrawal limit and restricted the activities of the PMC Bank after an alleged fraud of Rs 4,355 crore came to light. The Enforcement Directorate had later seized and identified movable and immovable assets worth more than Rs 3,830 crore owned by Housing Development Infrastructures Ltd (HDIL) in connection with the case. The summons to Raut has been issued under the provisions of the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). However, Shiv Sena, which is a part of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi establishment in Maharashtra has alleged that the central agency is targeting it unfairly. It should be noted that the PMLA case had been filed by ED in October last year against Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), its former chairman Waryam Singh, its ex-managing director Joy Thomas, and promoters Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan. This was after ED had taken cognisance of a Mumbai Police Economic Offences Wing FIR against them for allegedly causing “wrongful loss, prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank, and corresponding gains to themselves”.  Sena spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi says this selective targeting of opposition leaders in Maharashtra shows the vindictive attitude of @BJP4India. ED, CBI, IT, NCB are being used not for genuine investigations but to target opposition leader Ram Kadam said instead of blaming the Centre, the Maharashtra government should introspect over its performance in the last one year. “There were no developmental works at all and all it did was blame the central government for its failure.”

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