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The Delhi High Court today refused to grant anticipatory bail to Kamal Nath’s nephew, Ratul Puri in the AgustaWestland money laundering case.
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur with the observation that the grant of bail at this stage would stall an effective investigation in the case. The Court stated that it was of the prima facie opinion that the custodial interrogation of Ratul Puri was required in the case.
While the Enforcement Directorate argued for the rejection of Puri’s anticipatory bail plea so as to enable it to interrogate him in custody, Puri’s counsel argued that the case against him could not be sustained.
Puri also submitted that he has been extending his full-cooperation in the investigation and there was no chance of him tampering with the evidence or fleeing the country.
The role of Ratul Puri in the AgustaWestland case surfaced after the deportation of Rajiv Saxena and Sushen Mohan Gupta from Dubai earlier this year. As per the prosecution’s case, there is incriminating evidence against Puri, including the diary of Sushen Mohan Gupta and email recovered from Rajiv Saxena, which showed that Puri was in receipt of the proceeds of the crime in the AgustaWestland deal.
The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that Puri is a key link to unearth the modus operandi adopted by all other accused persons to settle the proceeds of crime. It is alleged that Puri used the guise of shell companies to accumulate the proceeds of the crime, which were then parked and laundered to other desired beneficiaries.
The CBI Court had earlier this month, refused to grant anticipatory bail to Puri on the ground that the investigation in the case with respect to his role was at a crucial stage.
The CBI Court has also issued a non-bailable warrant against Ratul Puri.
Ratul Puri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate earlier today in connection with a bank fraud case.
Ratul Puri was represented by Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Mohit Mathur with Advocates Vijay Aggarwal, Mudit Jain, Anshul Agarwal, Shailesh Pandey and Barkha Rastogi.
Enforcement Directorate was represented by Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi with Standing Counsels Ajay Digpal, Speical Counsel Vikas Garg and Advocates Manu Mishra, Ujjwal Sinha, Malika Imparth, Shreya Dutt.