A Delhi court today dismissed the plea of a private firm, which along with its CEO, is accused in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal scam seeking defreezing of the money in its bank account, saying the probe is at a “crucial stage”.
Special CBI Judge Ravinder Kaur rejected the application of Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt Ltd after CBI claimed the accused firm was being used in channelising “ill gotten” money from UK-based Agusta Westland.
The scam also allegedly involves former IAF chief S P Tyagi.
“Letters Rogatory have already been issued by this court to Italy, Tunisia and Mauritius. The investigation is at a crucial stage and in view of the nature of allegations against the applicant (Aeromatrix) and the evidence collected by CBI till date, I am not inclined to release the remaining 50 per cent of both the accounts of the applicant seized by CBI during the investigation of this case,” the judge said.
The order came on a petition filed by Aeromatrix, whose CEO Praveen Bakshi is also an accused, in which it had pleaded for unfreezing of the remaining 50 per cent the amount lying in its bank account on the ground that it was facing an “urgent need to incur the expenses” for May to July 2013.
It said that in May this year, the court had allowed its similar plea and 50 per cent of the frozen amount was ordered to be released.
Seeking defreezing of the remaining amount, the firm said it was facing difficulties in meeting its outstanding liabilities which include payment of salaries to its about 70 employees and meeting other expenses.
CBI, however, had opposed its plea alleging the firm was incorporated for “obtaining the ill-gotten remittances through international channels and the said company, through its Directors and CEO, are deeply involved in the commission of the crime” along with other co-accused persons.