Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena, a key accused in the Rs 3,600-crore Agusta-Westland VVIP chopper case, was deported to India from the UAE Wednesday.
Saxena’s lawyers in India, Geeta Luthra and Shivani Luthra Lohiya, said he was taken away from his home by UAE authorities and deported to India.
Last month, Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the helicopter deal, was extradited to New Delhi from Dubai. He is currently in judicial custody.
Senior advocate Geeta Luthra said: “Rajiv Saxena was picked up by UAE authorities from his residence this morning at 9.30 am UAE time and illegally deported to India around 5.30 pm UAE time.” She said there were “no extradition proceedings started in the UAE and he was not allowed access to his family or lawyers or his heart and cancer medicines”.
She said Saxena is suffering from leukaemia, diabetes and has previously had stents in his heart. According to Luthra, this “illegal deportation is unprecedented… even Christian Michel went through the legal process before he was extradited”.
Director of two Dubai-based firms UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, Saxena had filed an anticipatory bail application before a Delhi court in December through his advocate. He also challenged a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him in the case, on the grounds of no service of summons to him.
Late Wednesday evening, Lohiya said they were “rushing to court right now to ask for access to him once he lands” at Delhi airport.
“He was boarded on to a private jet from a private terminal at Dubai International Airport. When his lawyers asked to speak to UAE authorities and demanded to understand what happened, they were told he is on the flight and can’t be stopped. When they queried this further, they were told, ‘ask the Indian government’,” Luthra told The Indian Express.
The lawyers said Saxena is likely to be produced before the Patiala House Courts Thursday morning.
In July 2017, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Saxena’s wife Shivani in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in the deal.
The ED prosecution complaint (equivalent to a chargesheet) against Shivani stated that she and Rajiv were partners and directors in UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings Ltd through which “proceeds of crime were routed” and used to buy immovable properties and shares.
The two companies, the ED claimed, received the “proceeds of crime” in their respective Dubai bank accounts from a Mauritius-based company, Interstellar Technologies Ltd, one of many companies floated to launder kickbacks in the deal.
In its prosecution complaint, the ED said that Shivani, during questioning, expressed ignorance about a large number of transactions and said Rajiv alone knew about it.
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