Arms dealer Suresh Nanda approached the Delhi High Court Monday seeking the release of his passport that has been impounded by the government after he was alleged to have received kickbacks in the purchase of Israeli Barak missiles in 2000.
Nanda’s passport was in 2006 seized by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that is probing the multi-million-dollar Barak missile deal. He was later allowed by a trial court to go abroad but was restrained by the Delhi High Court.
Nanda later approached the Supreme Court which on Jan 24 last year said the seizure of the passport by CBI was illegal and the law doesn’t authorise the investigating agency to take such an action.
The CBI then released his passport but it was impounded by the External Affairs Ministry in February last year.
In his petition, Nanda alleged that the government was harassing him by not releasing his passport. He said his businesses all over the world were suffering.
Justice Sanjeev Khanna after hearing Nanda’s plea summoned the trial court records of the case and slated the matter for Sep 28.
Nanda, son of former navy chief S.M. Nanda, is accused of receiving Rs.4 million ($99,943.82) in kickbacks after a deal to purchase Israeli Barak missiles was signed during the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule.
The $100 million (Rs.3.9 billion) deal had come under the scanner after it was alleged that then defence minister George Fernandes had overruled, at the behest of Suresh Nanda, the opinion of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that it could develop a system similar to the Barak.