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Delhi court grants bail to Ratul Puri in AgustaWestland money laundering case

The court recorded that the overseas-based accused in the case were yet to be served summons and that letters rogatory seeking evidence were sent to foreign countries as recently as November 21. It also recorded that the ED had filed charge sheets...

ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 03, 2019, 08.34 AM IST
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BCCL
Ratul-Puri---BCCL
Ratul Puri (File Pic)
NEW DELHI: A special CBI court on Monday granted bail to Ratul Puri — a nephew of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and former executive director of Moser Baer — who was booked by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged VVIP helicopter scandal.

The court recorded that the overseas-based accused in the case were yet to be served summons and that letters rogatory seeking evidence were sent to foreign countries as recently as November 21. It also recorded that the ED had filed charge sheets against other co-accused in the case without arresting them.

Opposing the bail plea, counsels for the ED alleged that “numerous documents” pertaining to the chopper case were burnt by Puri and “bags of documents were shifted by him to thwart the investigation”. The agency further alleged that Puri influenced and pressurised two witnesses who turned hostile from their statements recorded with it. The agency also said Puri influenced accusedturned-approver Rajiv Saxena, pressurising him to not disclose the trail of the alleged tainted money received by Puri. The ED said it was examining witnesses in India and abroad and Puri could influence them as well.

Puri’s counsel denied the allegations. He said Puri joined the investigation for more than 27 times and recorded statement of more than 1,200 pages. He also raised the ED’s move to seek cancellation of the approver status accorded to Saxena. If the ED is not relying on the statement of its own “approver”, then how his statement can be used to keep Puri behind the bars, the lawyer asked.

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