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A Special CBI Court presided by Judge Arvind Kumar today issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Ratul Puri, who is the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Kamal Nath, in connection with the AgustaWestland case.
The Enforcement Directorate had moved the CBI Court seeking an NBW against Puri on the ground that he was not cooperating with the investigation and was untraceable. The Court was informed that Puri had failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on August 6 despite being directed to do so.
Meanwhile, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur of the Delhi High Court also reserved its order in Ratul Puri’s plea challenging the CBI Court’s refusal to grant him a copy of his statement recorded under Section 50(2) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
He had sought a copy of his statements to rebut the Enforcement Directorate’s claim that he was non-cooperative during the investigation.
Puri has asserted that the non-supply of the statement was in gross violation of his fundamental rights and principles of natural justice.
Besides rejecting his plea with respect to the supply of statements, the CBI court had earlier this week, 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 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 proceeds of 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 crime which were then parked and laundered to other desired beneficiaries.
Puri had applied for anticipatory bail before the CBI Court on July 27 after he reportedly “escaped” from the ED office a day before on the pretext of using the restroom.