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Ratul Puri anticipatory bail hearing deferred to Aug 20

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New Delhi | August 14, 2019 2:41:23 PM IST
Hearing on Ratul Puri's anticipatory bail plea in Delhi High Court has been deferred for August 20 after the court asked the Enforcement Directorate to file a status reply in the matter.

After hearing the detailed arguments on his anticipatory bail plea, Single Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur has also asked the probe agency to mention the extent of attachment made by the Income Tax department in connection with the case along with the role of Puri in the alleged offence.

ED has also been ordered to state the reasons for seeking the custodial interrogation of Puri.

Puri's counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vijay argued that their client was neither an accused nor was mentioned in the main complaint.

"Puri is neither accused in the main complaint nor named in the 5th supplementary. Purwas made to join probe based on the statement of Rajiv Saxena who is the approver in the case. However, ED has themselves filed the application seeking his bail cancellation saying that he is 'unreliable'. If Saxena is unreliable why his statement is being treated as reliable in this case", Singhvi argued.

Puri's counsel also stated that while probe agency has invoked the Benami Act of Rs 800 crores, their client has one of the largest energy companies in India and is not a flight risk.

"Since February 2019, he has joined probe many times", Puri's counsel told the court.

Representing ED, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi said that the probe agency required Puri's custody for interrogation.

"We opposing the plea seeking interim protection from arrest," Lekhi said.

ASG Lekhi also clarified that ED has not filed anything to revoke the grant of pardon to Rajiv Saxena but instead have only sought his bail cancellation.

Puri had moved to Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking anticipatory bail in connection with a money-laundering case related to AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

Puri who is the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamalnath was served with a Non Bailable Warrant by a special court on August 9.

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

 
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