Opposing the plea for permission to travel abroad, CBI on Wednesday submitted in the Supreme Court a status report on the probe relating to NRI businessman and controversial Vectra Company chief Ravinder Rishi for alleged irregularities in supply of Tatra trucks BEML.
Additional Solicitor General Sidharth Luthra placed the status report in a sealed cover which was read by a bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Chelemeshar. The bench, after going through the report, asked the registry to “re-seal” the report.
The apex court also brushed aside the plea of Rishi for expeditious hearing of the matter after his counsel submitted that the matter was urgent as the NRI needed medical attention.
“Why you don’t have doctors in India? What is the difficulty in getting him examined by doctors in India,” the bench shot back.
The apex court however, directed CBI and the Centre to file their response to the amended petition moved by Rishi challenging among other things the “look-out notice” issued by the probe agency. Rishi had moved the apex court seeking permission to visit the United Kingdom for medical treatment of his various ailments, which CBI has vehemently opposed saying he may not return.
57-year-old British national, Rishi, is facing a CBI probe in connection with alleged irregularities in supply of Tatra all-terrain trucks to public sector BEML.
CBI had earlier told the court that the accused’s alleged role in the deal and conduct during the investigation does not inspire confidence and his plea to travel abroad was only an “attempt to evoke the sympathy of this court”.
CBI placed before the bench various medical reports, including sonography, to state “there is no danger” to Rishi’s health.
Rishi’s counsel had earlier submitted before the court that he is suffering from “cirrhosis of the liver with portal hypertension” and other complications, which required expert medical treatment and that being a British national and earlier undergoing treatment there, it was necessary for him to continue the treatment in England for at least 30 days.
The counsel had also submitted that Rishi was cooperating with the investigation agency and had visited them at least on 10 occasions without giving scope for any complaint.
The Vectra chief has been quizzed several times at CBI headquarters here in connection with alleged irregularities in the Tatra truck deal as he has a substantial stake in Tatra Sipox UK.
The agency has registered a case naming Rishi and unnamed officials of Defence Ministry, Army and BEML on March 30 for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
CBI is probing alleged irregularities in assigning of supply from the then Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to Tatra-Sipox UK owned by Rishi in 1997 showing it as original equipment manufacturer and fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company.