Mumbai: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was denied permission to meet jailed party MP Sanjay Raut and asked by authorities to take court approval for meeting him in the prison, a senior jail official said on Wednesday.
Raut, arrested in early August in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai ‘chawl’ (old row tenement), is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail in central Mumbai.
According to the senior Arthur Road jail official, a few days back, a person claiming to be a representative of Thackeray had phoned the prison administration and said the Sena chief wanted to meet Raut, his close aide, in the jailer’s room.
However, jail authorities denied the former chief minister nod for a meeting with the 60-year-old Rajya Sabha member and asked his representative to take court’s consent for the same, he said.
Any meeting with Raut will have to take place as per rules framed for ordinary prisoners and that too only after the court’s approval, the official maintained.
No written application had been received by the jail authorities, he said but refused to reveal the name of the person who made the phone call or the day he approached the administration.
Raut was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for his alleged role in financial irregularities related to the redevelopment of Patra ‘Chawl’ in suburban Goregaon.
The Rajya Sabha member was found to be alleged beneficiary of more than Rs 2 crore of the proceeds of crime, the ED has claimed.
Further, the central probe agency has claimed documents seized during its probe showed the purchase of properties at Alibaug, a coastal town in neighbouring Raigad district, by Raut involved substantial cash transactions.
Raut has denied any wrongdoing and dubbed the ED case against him as “false”.