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The Delhi High Court yesterday directed the Enforcement Directorate to not take any coercive steps against Ratul Puri who is being probed in the AgustaWestland case.
The Court has nonetheless clarified that if required, the Enforcement Directorate may direct Puri to join the investigation.
The order was passed by a single Judge Bench of Justice Sunil Gaur in a plea by Ratul Puri seeking anticipatory bail in the AgustaWestland case.
The Court also directed the Enforcement Directorate to file a status report, detailing the new developments after the CBI Court denied bail to Puri.
The Court also asked the Enforcement Directorate to state the “exact role” of Puri in the case, the extent of attachment of his company’s property by the Income Tax Authorities and the reason for his custodial interrogation.
The Enforcement Directorate will also submit a copy of Puri’s statement recorded under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to the Court.
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 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 has also issued a non-bailable warrant against Ratul Puri.
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.
The matter will be heard next on August 20.
Read the Order: