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AgustaWestland chopper scam: Supreme Court stays HC order on Rajiv Saxena’s foreign travel

The court was hearing an appeal against the June 10 HC order by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 27, 2019 5:40:38 am
AgustaWestland chopper scam, chopper scam, rajeev saxena, rajeev saxena abroad treatment, indian express, supreme court  AgustaWestland accused Rajiv Saxena (centre) is escorted by police as he leaves a court in New Delhi. (Source: Reuters/File)

THE SUPREME Court on Wednesday stayed a Delhi High Court(HC) order allowing Rajiv Saxena, an accused turned approver in a money laundering case linked to the Agustawestland VVIP chopper scam, to travel abroad on medical grounds.

The court was hearing an appeal against the June 10 HC order by the Enforcement Directorate(ED). In an additional affidavit, the ED also stated that it had decided to move the appropriate court to cancel bail granted to Saxena, as he was trying to misuse the relief after being granted pardon and turning approver.

In a related development, the CBI investigating a separate FIR against Saxena, approached the court seeking permission to be impleaded in the matter stating that it had recently secured crucial evidence against hm.

A bench of Justices Sanjv Jain and B R Gavai stayed the order for three weeks and asked the AIIMS Director to examine Saxena’s mental and physical health and file a report.

The HC had allowed Saxena, who was extradited from Dubai in January this year to visit the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Europe from June 25 to July 24 for treatment of blood cancer and other ailments.

In its affidavit, the ED pointed out that Saxena was granted pardon by the competent court on March 25 “subject to the obligation…to make full and true disclosure of whole of the circumstances as are within his knowledge”.

However after obtaining bail and pardon, he had refused to part with relevant documents and was now trying to leave AIIMS, the agency submitted.

The ED said he “has more than one reason to leave the country and not return. In any case, even if a situation where the respondent can assure that he will return to India, there is every possibility that individuals whose name would surface…may not permit the respondent to come back by whatever means possible.”

The CBI too expressed similar fears and said that “during the course of its investigation, the question of authenticity of signatures in a bank account was disputed by the respondent whereby approximately 12.4 million Euros…were deposited and the account is operated by the Respondent”.

The agency said both it and Income Tax Department had issued Look Out Circulars against Saxena apprehending that he may try to flee.

CBI said it “was awaiting certain crucial evidence which were demanded during the course of investigation from central agencies like CFSL etc” and “has now recently received certain crucial evidence on 21.6.2019 clearly implicating the respondent…”.

The CBI added that as per information given to it by the Income Tax department, “a serious case of violation of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, as well as, Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act 2016 together with violation of the Income Tax Act has been made out which also involves serious criminal offences, inter alia, under the Indian Penal Code”.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appearing for ED in the apex court, said the CBI will formally register an FIR against Saxena shortly.

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