A day after he gave a slip to the Enforcement Directorate, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri was on Saturday granted interim protection from arrest till July 29 by a Delhi court in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
Puri, the chairman of Hindustan Power projects Pvt Ltd, had today approached the court saying he was anticipating arrest in the case. Puri further said he was cooperating in the probe and there was no need of his arrest.
On Friday, Puri appeared before the Enforcement Directorate at its office in New Delhi for interrogation in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal.
However, during the questioning, Puri sought some break time from the investigating officer of the case to go to the washroom but slipped away, PTI quoted officials as saying.
PTI reported that ED officials tried to call Puri over his mobile phone but it was switched off. ED is now mulling to summon him again for questioning.
Puri has been grilled by the agency in the case in the past too. He is the son of Nita and Deepak Puri, the CMD of optical storage media firm Moser Baer. Nita is Nath’s sister.
The AgustaWestland chopper case was scrapped by India over allegations of corruption and kickbacks being paid in the deal. The ED and the CBI are probing the case and have already filed multiple charge sheets in the case.
Earlier this year, the Income Tax Department had detected alleged tax evasion of more than Rs 1,350 crore during search and seizure operations against Hindustan Powerprojects, a company owned by Ratul Puri. The CBDT further said the group was operating through a maze of shell companies and indulged in bogus billings, over-invoicing of imports and round-tripping of funds.