Chopper scam: Ratul Puri already in custody, can’t surrender, enforcement department tells court

The ED Wednesday told a Delhi court that Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, was not in a position to surrender as offered by him in the AgustaWestland chopper scam since he is already in its custody in another case.


The Enforcement Directorate made the submission before special judge Arvind Kumar while opposing an application by Puri, seeking to surrender in the money laundering case related to the chopper scam.

Puri is already in the ED custody till August 30 in a separate money laundering case related to a bank fraud connected to his company Moser Baer.

“We cannot take him in custody. The law does not permit us. He is already in custody. He has no control on his body. How can he come and say take me in custody? We cannot take him in custody because he is already in custody in another case. A person can surrender only when he is free,” the agency told the court.

Appearing for Puri, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra told the court that there was a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against the accused in the chopper scam case and he wanted to surrender.

The NBW was issued by the court on August 9 in the chopper case, before ED arrested Puri on August 20 in the bank loan matter related to Moser Baer.

“I want to surrender but the ED does not want to arrest me. They (ED) need to take responsibility of their actions. They chose to move an arrest warrant (NBW). Now when I want to surrender, they say they don’t want me to surrender. If ED says they cannot arrest me right now, can I be deprived from taking the legal benefit of that,” Luthra said.

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 alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal.

According to the ED, the proceeds of the crime have been deposited in the accounts of different companies owned by Puri and he is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by the other accused and to determine last-mile connectivity of the proceeds.

Chopper scam: Willing to join probe, Ratul Puri tells court, seeks cancellation of NBW

Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, on Saturday told a Delhi court that he was willing to join the probe into the AgustaWestland chopper scam case, while seeking cancellation of a non-bailable warrant issued against him.


Puri told special judge Arvind Kumar that he wrote some e-mails to the Enforcement Directorate expressing his desire to join the investigation but the agency did not respond.

“You issued NBW against him (Puri) because he was not joining the investigation. But now ED is not calling him to join the investigation. We need court’s directions to stay the NBW,” Puri’s advocate Vijay Aggarwal told the court.

The court was also informed by Puri that he has got interim protection from arrested in the case by the Delhi High Court.

However, the ED opposed the application saying its sole purpose was to create confusion.

“We are opposing the stay on NBW. This is just to create confusion by filing multiple applications. Ratul Puri e-mailed on August 15 to join the probe. Now we will take our call… We called him regularly to join the investigation but he did not come,” the agency said.

The court has fixed August 19 as the next date for hearing further arguments on the application.

The ED said that it will file a detailed reply to the application on the next date of hearing.

The court had earlier issued NBW against Puri while noting the ED’s submissions that the businessman might try to tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses “as he already did earlier”.

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 alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal.

According to the ED, the proceeds of the crime have been deposited in the accounts of different companies owned by Puri and he is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by the other accused and to determine last-mile connectivity of the proceeds.

Chopper scam: Supreme Court stays High Court order allowing Rajeev Saxena to go abroad for treatment

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a Delhi High Court order permitting Rajeev Saxena, an approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, to go abroad for the treatment of blood cancer and other ailments.

A vacation bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai also issued notice to Saxena on an appeal filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the June 10 Delhi High Court order permitting him to visit the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Europe from June 25 to July 24.

Saxena, a director of Dubai-based firms UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by the ED in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland scam.

The bench, which stayed the High Court order for three weeks, asked the director of AIIMS to examine Saxena’s mental and physical health and file a report within three weeks.

It also directed Saxena’s counsel to seek instructions on whether his sister and sister-in law were willing to stand stand surety for him by depositing Rs 5 crore each as guarantee for allowing him to go abroad for treatment of blood cancer and other ailments.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, said new facts with regard to other offences have come to light and the CBI will formally register an FIR against Saxena shortly.

He said the question of whether Saxena would return to India or not has become immaterial and the order permitting him to go abroad needed to be examined in the light of fresh facts.

The ED had earlier objected Saxena’s plea saying he has no roots in India and he may not return if permitted to go.

It said treatment for Saxena’s ailments was available in India and the approver was not only disclosing his role in the crime, but also revealing the culpability of others in the corruption case.

The high court gave relief to Saxena, noting that he had already been granted bail on medical grounds before being pardoned and made an approver.

The high court also said the ED, too, had not objected to the grant of relief to him.

It observed that two other accused in the case, Gautam Khaitan and Ritu Khaitan, were allowed to travel abroad.

The trial court had also allowed Saxena to visit abroad for a month from June 6 to July 5.

Chopper scam: Delhi High Court stays order granting permission to Rajeev Saxena to travel abroad

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has stayed the permission granted to Rajeev Saxena, a middleman-turned-approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, to travel abroad.

A bench of Justice Chander Shekhar stayed a Delhi court order, which allowed Saxena to go to Europe, the UK and Dubai for medical treatment, on a petition by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the trail court order.

The high court issued notice to Saxena and directed him to file a response by June 10 on the petition moved by the Centre’s standing counsel Amit Mahajan and ED’s advocate Nitesh Rana.

“Issue notice to respondent… Meanwhile, the operation of the impugned order is stayed till next date of hearing,” the bench said on Tuesday.

In the petition, Mahajan said the investigation in the case was at a crucial stage and allowing Saxena, recently turned approver in the case, to go out of the country may hamper the probe.

The trial court had on June 1 granted relief to Saxena, while directing him to deposit Fixed Deposit Receipt (FDR) of Rs 50 lakh as security.

He has sought permission to travel abroad on the ground of medical ailments.

The court had earlier allowed him to turn approver and his plea for grant of pardon on the condition that he will fully disclose all information in the case.

He was earlier granted bail by the court on medical grounds after perusal of reports submitted by AIIMS.

Saxena, director at two Dubai-based firms — UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings — was one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by the ED in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland scam.

Chopper scam: Delhi HC to hear CBI’s pleas against bail

Chopper scam: Delhi HC to hear CBI's pleas against bail
Chopper scam: Delhi HC to hear CBI’s pleas against bail

Arguments on CBI’s pleas seeking cancellation of bail granted to former IAF chief S P Tyagi and two others in the AgustaWestland chopper scam case would be heard on January 25, the Delhi High Court said today.

CBI’s pleas, challenging the bail granted by a trial court to S P Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, was listed for hearing before Justice I S Mehta who fixed the matter for arguments next week.

The high court had earlier issued notices to the three accused on the pleas in which CBI has alleged that they were influential persons who could hamper the ongoing probe into the case if they remained out of custody.

71-year old S P Tyagi, who was arrested by CBI on December 9 last year along with Sanjeev Tyagi and Khaitan in the case relating to alleged irregularities in the procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based AgustaWestland during the UPA-2 regime, was granted bail by trial court on December 26.

Tyagi had retired as IAF chief in 2007.

Thereafter on January 4, the lower court here had also granted bail to Sanjeev Tyagi and Khaitan in the scam, saying no purpose would be served by keeping them in custody.

During the earlier hearing, the agency had claimed in the high court that if S P Tyagi remained out on bail, he could “alert other potential accused”.

The agency had also said its probe was “multi-layered” as spread across several countries since various companies were allegedly used to “camouflage the bribe money”.

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.

( Source – PTI )

Plea for court-monitored probe in chopper scam

Plea for court-monitored probe in chopper scam
Plea for court-monitored probe in chopper scam

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a PIL seeking a court-monitored probe by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in the AgustaWestland helicopter scam case and the allegation that some media persons took bribes from foreign arms dealers in connection with the deal.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Arun Mishra asked the counsel for petitioner, who has filed the PIL on the issue, to serve the copies of the petition to the Ministry of Home Affairs, CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.

The plea, filed by Hari Jaisingh, a veteran journalist, has said that the agencies, CBI and ED which have been probing the case, be also asked to submit a report to this court in a sealed cover stating the status of the investigaton.

It has also sought “setting up of a Commission of Inquiry under the stewardship of a retired judge of this court, or any other eminent person which this court deems fit” to probe the allegations that some media persons indulged in corrupt practices.

The PIL, filed through lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, alleged that “Finmeccanica (parent company of AgustaWestland) had invited a group of Indian journalists on a fully paid for trip to Italy”.

The plea has referred to the judgement of the Milan Court of Appeals and said the role of a “middleman/agent who acted on behalf of AgustaWestland emerged”.

It also said an individual stationed in New Delhi and acting as the representative of AgustaWestland in India was specifically tasked with acting as a “facilitator” to ensure “smooth disbursement of funds allocated for managing key Indian officials and several influential members of Indian media”.

It has also sought a direction to the Centre to seek affidavits of “financial disclosures from the members of the media who have received funding and hospitality from foreign and domestic defence and other ancillary industries, and to make public this information and submit to the court on affidavit whether on these sums taxes have been paid or not”.

The Cabinet Committee on Security in 2010 had cleared a proposal to acquire 12 helicopters for the use of VVIPS after a long process that involved change in some parameters, evaluations and negotiations and these helicopters were to be used by the Communication Squadron of the air force. The chopper deal was later cancelled.

( Source – PTI )