AgustaWestland case: Supreme Court stays Delhi HC order allowing Rajeev Saxena to travel abroad
The top court asked the AIIMS director to examine Saxena’s mental and physical health and submit a report within three weeks.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an order passed by the Delhi High Court allowing businessman Rajeev Saxena to travel abroad on medical grounds, PTI reported. Saxena, who was allegedly a middleman in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, had turned an approver in a money laundering case related to it.
A vacation bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai also sent a notice to Saxena after hearing a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate. The agency had challenged the June 10 order of the Delhi High Court that allowed Saxena to travel to the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Europe from June 25 to July 24.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Enforcement Directorate, told the bench that certain new facts had surfaced related to other offences and the Central Bureau of Investigation will file a first information report against Saxena soon, PTI reported. Justice Sanjiv Khanna also observed that in case something emerges against the accused during the investigation, Saxena must stand trial, if required, according to ANI.
The top court also asked the director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences to examine Saxena’s mental and physical health and submit a report within three weeks. It instructed Saxena’s lawyer to seek instruction on whether his sister and sister-in-law were ready to stand surety for him by depositing Rs 5 crore each as guarantee in order to allow him to go abroad for treatment.
Mehta said that whether Saxena would return to India or not has become immaterial and the order permitting him to go abroad needed to be examined in view of the new facts, PTI reported. The Enforcement Directorate had earlier objected to Saxena’s plea, saying he had no roots in India so he may not return if allowed to leave.
The central agency had said that the treatment for Saxena’s ailments was available in India. The agency said Saxena was revealing his role in the case and disclosing the culpability of others in the corruption case.
The Delhi High Court had allowed Saxena to travel outside India to receive treatment for blood cancer and other ailments. The High Court had noted that Saxena had been granted bail on medical grounds before being pardoned and made an approver in the case. The judge had also noted that two other accused in the case, Gautam Khaitan and Ritu Khaitan, had also been allowed to travel abroad.
Saxena was arrested after being extradited to India from Dubai on January 30. He allegedly played a key role in laundering the money used to pay kickbacks.