Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, on Saturday filed a plea in a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, PTI reported. Puri, who is the chairperson of Hindusthan Powerprojects Pvt Ltd, told the court that he was anticipating arrest in the case.
Puri claimed that he was cooperating in the investigation. However, on Friday, he allegedly gave Enforcement Directorate officials the slip after asking the investigating officer for a break to use the washroom. Agency officials tried to contact Puri on his mobile phone but it was switched off.
The Enforcement Directorate now wants to call Puri again for interrogation, PTI reported.
The agency had questioned Puri on April 4. It had informed a Delhi court in April that Puri had been summoned for interrogation and to confront him with Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged middleman in the case who has been arrested. However, Puri has denied any involvement with the case.
The former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had signed the Rs 3,565-crore helicopter deal in 2010 with the British-Italian firm AgustaWestland. The deal was put on hold after Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, on charges of paying bribes to win the contract. Christian Michel was extradited to India in January and is now lodged in Tihar Jail.