On 2nd August,2019 a Delhi court reserved the order for August 6 on the anticipatory bail plea of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri. This is related to the money laundering case involving the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scam. Puri, the chairperson of Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt Ltd, has been accused of receiving money transacted during the scam.
The interim protection from arrest to Puri was extended by Special Judge Arvind Kumar till August 6.
Dramatic scenes were witnessed by the court during the hearing. A man who claiming to be a witness appeared before the court and stated that the Enforcement Directorate had recorded his statement forcefully. He requested the court to intervene in the matter.
The development came a day after the court was told by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday that a witness in the AgustaWestland case who they had claimed might be dead was in fact alive. The agency’s lawyer had claimed that “a little birdie” had told investigators that KK Khosla would be available for questioning inside a day or two. On Tuesday, the probe agency had told the court that Khosla had been missing for four months and “must have been killed”.
DP Singh, the directorate’s lawyer, had said that Puri was an influential person who posed a flight risk, and could possibly tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
The directorate, on Tuesday, had highlighted to the court that Puri had given investigators the slip after asking for a washroom break last week. Officials tried to contact him on his mobile phone but were unable to reach him. However, the judge’s observation was that Puri was cooperating in the investigation.
The defense counsel, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, had stated that his client was a victim of political vendetta, and alleged that the directorate wanted to arrest his client as two Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers had joined the ruling Congress in the state a few days ago.
The Rs 3,565-crore helicopter deal in 2010 with the British-Italian firm AgustaWestland had been signed by the former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. The deal was put on hold after the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, was arrested in Italy, on charges of paying bribes to win the contract. Christian Michel was extradited to India in January and is now in Tihar Jail.
Tags : #AgustaWestland case#Ratul Puri#