Court issues notice to ED on Ratul Puri’s bail plea.

A Delhi court has sought response from the Enforcement Directorate on the bail plea of Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in a money laundering case related to the VVIP chopper scam.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued notice to the ED and directed it to file a reply by November 22, when the court will next hear the matter.

Puri moved the bail plea through advocate Vijay Agarwal on Saturday, saying he was not required for further investigation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in custody.

The Enforcement Directorate recently filed a supplementary Prosecution Complaint against Ratul Puri and Jaspreet Ahuja in the ?3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

In January 2014, India had scrapped a contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary, Agustawestland, for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force, over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks worth ?423 crore being paid to secure the deal.

Enforcement Directorate attaches immovable, movable assets worth Rs 3.14 crore under PMLA Act

On Friday, Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached immovable & movable assets of accused Amit Kohli, Diwakar Gupta & others, worth Rs 3.14 crore under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case related to the illegal export of prescription drugs & psychotropic substances.
According to the probe agency, the attached asset includes immovable & movable property of accused persons Kohli, Gupta & others & their relatives acquired from proceeds of crime. The immovable properties are located at Delhi, Punjab & Goa.
The probe agency in a statement said that the ED initiated investigations under PMLA on the basis of Complaint of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), New Delhi filed under section 22, 23, 24, 27A & 29 of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The accused persons were involved in illegal online export of prescription drugs/psychotropic substances after taking orders from U.S. based clients online through a website & the orders were being delivered through the post office.
During investigation under PMLA, several properties & bank accounts belonging to Kohli, Gupta, their relatives & M/s Ad Buildwell Private Limited has been identified. It is revealed that the accused have acquired 10 immovable properties in Delhi, Goa & Punjab & also deposited money in their bank accounts disproportionate to their legal income during the period 2003-2008.
The accused did not have any other source of income except the generation of money from the illegal activity of exporting the prescription drugs & psychotropic substance during that period. The money generated by this illegal activity was deposited in their personal & various companies’ bank accounts & later used for purchasing the immovable properties.
Further investigation is under progress.

Aviation Scam: Lobbyist Deepak Talwar Was In Touch With Praful Patel says Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate claimed in its charge sheet filed against Talwar, who has been arrested, that he allegedly finalised various communications addressed to Patel on behalf of Emirates and Air Arabia.

Corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar was in regular touch with former aviation minister Praful Patel while acting as a middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines, causing losses to national carrier Air India, ED has told a Delhi court.

The Enforcement Directorate claimed in its charge sheet filed against Talwar, who has been arrested, that he allegedly finalised various communications addressed to Patel on behalf of Emirates and Air Arabia.

“There is evidence including email conversations between Deepak and Patel,” the probe agency told the court.

The charge sheet was filed recently before Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj, who took cognizance of the final report and issued non-bailable warrant (NBW)against Talwar’s son and co-accused Aditya Talwar in the case.

The court, which also rejected the bail application of Deepak, will now hear the matter on May 9.

According to the charge sheet, the investigation has revealed that Deepak obtained undue favours for the private airlines using his contacts.

ED had told the court earlier that it was trying to find out the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia, by making national carrier, gave up profit making routes and profit making timings.

“It has been alleged that officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, NACIL, Air India, by abusing their official positions as public servants and receiving illegal gratification, in conspiracy with other public servants, private domestic and foreign airlines, made the national carrier gave up profit making routes and profit making timings of Air India in favour of national and international domestic and foreign private airlines.

“This resulted in a huge loss of market share to the national carrier and also led to pecuniary benefits to private domestic and foreign airlines,” ED’s advocate A R Aditya had told the court.

India held bilateral meetings with Dubai, Sharjah and Qatar after which there has been an increase in the seat entitlements for both the contracting countries and increase in points of call for foreign carriers, it said.

Deepak has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various other sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe’s leading missile manufacturing company.

His role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) regime at the Centre is under scanner as well.

Deepak was booked by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department charged him with tax evasion.

(PTI)

Delhi court directs ED to provide copies of seized documents.

A Delhi court Monday directed the Enforcement Directorate to provide Robert Vadra soft and hard copies of documents seized by it during raids conducted at his offices last year in a money laundering case.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to provide documents to Vadra, facing probe in cases relating to purchase of alleged illegal assets abroad and an alleged land scam in Bikaner, Rajasthan.

Vadra, who is the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, had said in the application moved by him on Saturday that the ED has been interrogating him based on seized documents and, therefore, their copies should be provided to him. On December 7 last year, the agency had carried out raids at Vadra’s offices at Delhi.

ED seeks extension of custody of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar by 7 days

The Enforcement Directorate Thursday sought from a Delhi court extension of custody for corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar by seven days in a money laundering case.

The court had earlier allowed ED to quiz in custody for seven days Talwar, after the probe agency alleged that he acted as middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines causing the loss to national carrier Air India.

ED had told the court that by interrogating Talwar it has to find out the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia, by making national carrier, gave up profit making routes and profit making timings.

Talwar, who is in ED custody, was deported from Dubai on January 30 and was arrested by the agency after landing here.

ED seeks open-ended NBW against close aide of Robert Vadra in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved a Delhi court Saturday seeking issuance of open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Manoj Arora, allegedly a close aide of Robert Vadra, in a money laundering case.

The agency told the court that Arora failed to appear for questioning despite repeated summonses.

The ED further claimed that Arora is a key person in the case. He is aware of overseas undeclared assets of Vadra and was instrumental in arranging funds for such properties, the agency said.

Vadra is the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Court takes cognizance of fresh ED charge sheet against Upendra Rai

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday took cognisance of a fresh charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against jailed-journalist Upendra Rai in a money laundering case.

Additional Sessions judge Rakesh Syal, who is likely to pronounce the order on Rai’s bail plea on November 1, said there was enough evidence to proceed on the ED’s supplementary charge sheet accusing the scribe of laundering around Rs 23 crore.

The ED’s charge sheet, filed by special public prosecutors N K Matta and Nitesh Rana, has sought his prosecution for money laundering.

During the proceedings, the ED handed over the copy of the charge sheet to Rai, after which the court fixed the next date of hearing on November 1.

In an earlier charge sheet in the case, the ED had alleged that Rai projected over Rs 29 crore worth of properties, which he generated through “blackmail” and “extortion” as a scribe, as untainted.

The Delhi-based journalist was arrested by the agency for alleged money laundering, punishable under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It had said that Rai was a journalist, who crafted leverage out of his access to government offices as a mediaperson.

The agency further said Rai used the “ill-gotten” money to acquire various movable and immovable properties in his or in the name of his family members, in his personal and travel expenses, and also used it to repay loans taken from financial organisations to acquire various properties.

Rai was arrested on June 8 by the ED under the PMLA at the Tihar jail here, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions. 

The ED had registered the money laundering case against him based on the CBI FIR related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions.

SC extends deadline for probe in Aircel-Maxis deal case

New Delhi:The Supreme Court Thursday extended by three months the deadline given to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to complete the probe in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the probe should be completed in three months. 

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, said the agency needs some two-three months to complete the probe as it needs to confront some accused with several e-mails. 

The ED is probing a money laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis matter arising out of 2G spectrum cases.

The top court had in March directed investigating agencies CBI and ED to complete their probe in the 2G spectrum allocation cases and other related matters, including the Aircel-Maxis deal in six months.

The bench had observed that investigation has been going on for a long time and people of this country cannot be kept in the dark on a sensitive matter like this.

FERA case: ED tells HC cannot share documents with TTV Dhinakaran

The Enforcement Directorate has informed the Madras High Court it cannot share copies of official documents, including the case diary, to Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dhinakaran in connection with the 1996 FERA case filed against him.

When the criminal revision petition by Dhinakaran came up yesterday before Justice M V Muralidaran, the ED filed a counter affidavit stating that the documents sought by the accused to defend himself in the two-decade-old case cannot be provided to him as doing so is barred under the CrPC.

Dhinakaran had filed the petition challenging the order of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Economic Offences-II), here declining to issue copies of certain documents, including the case diary, sought by him.

The ED submitted that Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), 1973, prohibits disclosure of any document, information, or intelligence of the department which were kept highly confidential and protected.

Hence, such documents also cannot be provided, it said.

The matter relates to the allegation that Dhinakaran acquired USD 1,04,93,313 in foreign exchange without obtaining prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India and deposited it in the current account of Dipper Investments Ltd., a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and having account with Barclays Bank, Sutton, United Kingdom.

Pointing out that the accused has also sought the copy of an official communication between high commissions of India and ED, it said the lower court was right in rejecting the demand as those are official communications between government departments and the accused has failed to establish the need for those documents.

With a view to drag the hearing of the case, the petition was filed by Dhinakaran, the ED said.

On March 7, the high court had stayed all further proceedings in the lower court here in the case filed by the ED against Dhinakaran under FERA.

Recording the submissions, the judge posted the matter for tomorrow for next hearing.

Delhi court grants bail to Karti’s CA S Bhaskararaman in INX Media case

A Delhi court today granted bail to Karti Chidambaram’s chartered accountant S Bhaskararaman, arrested in the INX Media money laundering case.

Special judge Sunil Rana granted bail to Bhaskararaman, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 16 from a five-star hotel in the heart of the national capital.

The court granted the relief to the CA and asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of like amount. It asked Bhaskararaman to cooperate in the investigation as and when required by the ED and asked him not to leave the country without its permission.

Bhaskararaman had sought bail on the ground that he was not required for custodial interrogation and no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody. The CA was sent to jail on February 26 after his custodial interrogation by the ED.

Karti’s name had cropped up in the case relating to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB) approval granted in 2007 for receipt of funds by INX Media when his father and Congress leader P Chidambaram was the finance minister during the previous UPA regime.

The ED’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana had earlier told the court that during the course of investigation, it was revealed that Bhaskararaman had been assisting Karti to manage his “ill-gotten wealth” in India and abroad.

He had alleged that INX Media had deliberately and in violation of the conditions of approval made a downstream investment of 26 per cent in the capital of INX News Pvt Ltd without the specific approval of FIPB, which included indirect foreign investment by some foreign investors, and generated Rs 305 crore foreign direct investment in INX Media Pvt Ltd against the approved foreign inflow of Rs 4.62 crore.

To wriggle out of the situation without any punitive action, INX Media entered into a criminal conspiracy with Karti, the ED had alleged.

The FIPB unit of the Finance Ministry had not only granted illegal approval but also misinformed the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, it had alleged.