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VVIP chopper scam: Delhi HC reserves order on Ratul Puri's anticipatory bail plea

ANI | Updated: Aug 20, 2019 14:18 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 20 (ANI): The Delhi High court on Tuesday reserved its order on an anticipatory bail plea of businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in connection with a money laundering case related to AugustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
Justice Sunil Gaur heard arguments in detail and reserved the order.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Puri, said his client was called by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the AugustaWestland case and was arrested later in another case.
"On Monday, ED called me in this present case (AugustaWestland case). When I went there, I was arrested in the other case. CBI does not want my arrest but ED arrested me. I am served with a counter yesterday night," Singhvi said.
The ED had arrested Puri on Monday in connection with a bank fraud case.
Singhvi read out the ED reply on Puri's bail plea which stated that he may tamper evidence and influence witness in the case. "It is mostly on tampering with the evidence and influence witness," he said quoting reply of ED, which was asked to file a status reply in the matter in last hearing on August 14.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for the ED, said, "This is a case of kickback and bribery. Two money chains- Christian Michel and Gerosa. He is being probed in both. In reply, we have filed today explains the extent of monetary involvement and the gravity of the offence."
Puri's counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vijay Aggarwal earlier argued that their client was neither an accused nor was mentioned in the main complaint.
"Puri is neither accused in the main complaint nor named in the 5th supplementary. ED has itself filed the application seeking his bail cancellation saying that he is 'unreliable'. If Saxena is unreliable then why his statement is being treated as reliable in this case", Singhvi argued.
Lekhi said that the probe agency required Puri's custody for interrogation. "We are opposing the plea seeking interim protection from arrest," Lekhi said.
He also clarified that the ED has not filed anything to revoke the grant of pardon to Rajiv Saxena, accused in VVIP chopper scam, but instead, they have only sought his bail cancellation.
Puri was served with a Non Bailable Warrant by a special court on August 9.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland. The deal was scrapped by the NDA government in 2014 over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal. (ANI)