Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri on Thursday moved a Delhi court seeking to surrender in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper case. The businessman, who is already in ED custody in a separate case, filed the plea before Special Judge Arvind Kumar. The matter has been listed for hearing on Friday. Puri is accused of receiving kickbacks in the AgustaWestland chopper deal.
On Wednesday, special judge Arvind Kumar dismissed Puri’s application for cancellation of non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him, saying there was no ground to grant relief. Puri had approached the court, saying there was no need for the NBW as he was willing to cooperate in the probe.
“I do not find any ground for cancellation of NBW issued against accused Ratul Puri. The application filed by accused Ratul Puri for cancellation of NBW issued against him is dismissed,” the judge said.
The court took note of the fact that Puri had not joined the probe on different dates despite repeated notices of the ED. “Accused had left the ED office on July 26 without signing his statement. He has made himself unavailable and his whereabouts could not be ascertained,” the court observed.
The counsel for Puri told the court that his client has joined the investigation and his statement under Section 50 of PMLA Act was recorded, and that Puri sent two e-mails to the investigating officer that he was available to join the investigation.
On Tuesday, Puri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a fresh case of money laundering linked to an alleged Rs 354-crore bank loan fraud related to his company Moser Baer. The same day, the high court rejected Puri’s anticipatory bail plea, saying his “custodial interrogation” was necessary. Later in the day, Puri was sent to ED custody for six days by a special court in Delhi.
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