The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate to reply to corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar’s petition against his deportation from Dubai and detention in a misuse of funds case, PTI reported. Talwar has been in the investigating agency’s custody since his extradition on January 30.
Talwar’s counsel, Mukul Rohatgi, claimed that the agency did not follow extradition protocol and accused them of “abducting his client” before his arrest. “There was a summons for him to appear on February 4,” Rohatgi said. “There was no extradition and they picked him up.”
Amit Mahajan, the Centre’s counsel, sought time to reply to the petition.
The agency has until February 11 to submit its reply before the scheduled hearing in the matter on February 12.
The Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation have been investigating Talwar’s involvement in a case related to the alleged misuse of Rs 90 crore that was transacted via foreign funding as part of a corporate social responsibility initiative. The CBI and ED booked him for criminal conspiracy and the Income Tax department charged him for tax evasion.
The ED said it needs to interrogate Talwar to get the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia.
The money was purportedly sent by a European-based missile manufacturer to allow Talwar’s non-governmental organisation to buy ambulances and other articles.
Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under several other sections of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funding meant for ambulances.
The Enforcement Directorate had initially accused Talwar of serving as a “middleman” in a deal to favour foreign private airlines while sidelining national carrier Air India.