AgustaWestland: ED custody of Ratul Puri extended till September 16
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AgustaWestland: ED custody of Ratul Puri extended till September 16

Aditi Singh

A Special CBI Court in New Delhi today extended the custody of Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri with Enforcement Directorate in connection with the AgustaWestland case till September 16.

Ratul Puri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) last week, a day after he was sent to judicial custody in another money laundering case. He was remanded to ED custody till September 11.

The ED today sought an extension of 8 Ratul Puri’s remand by 8 days.

Appearing for ED, Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh argued that further custodial interrogation of Puri was necessary to ascertain the “flow of tainted money” and the role of other accused persons.

He informed the Court that voluminous documents were seized by the Agency during a search operation conducted on September 7 and it was imperative that Puri be confronted with those documents as well as other accused.

The Enforcement Directorate stated that the investigation in the case was ongoing. It was also claimed that Puri was evasive and uncooperative.

Appearing through Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, Puri argued that there was no ground to extend Puri’s ED remand as the ED had failed to establish any ground for the same.

He reiterated that Puri had no connection with any of the entities and emails under the ED scanner in the AgustaWestland case.

After hearing the parties, the Court decided to extend the remand by 5 days.

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.

Last month, the CBI Court, as well as the High Court, had 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.

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