A court in Delhi on Thursday sent businessman Ratul Puri to six-day Enforcement Directorate’s custody in connection with a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, PTI reported.
Puri, who is the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, will be in ED’s custody till September 11. The court said the agency sought Puri’s custodial interrogation to “unearth the source and end use of tainted money”.
The court said his custody was required to make Puri confront “voluminous documents collected” by the ED and to investigate the roles of the co-accused in the case, The Indian Express reported.
“Thus keeping in view the facts and circumstances, I deem it fit to grant 6 days ED custody remand of Ratul Puri,” said Special Judge Arvind Kumar. “Accordingly, the accused is remanded to ED custody for 6 days. The accused be produced on September 11.”
The court directed ED to get Puri medically examined and to allow him to take his medicines. Puri was also permitted to meet his counsel during the interrogation.
“The ED will permit any two of his counsel to assist the accused between 9.30 am to 10.00 am and from 5.30 pm to 6 pm on each day,” the order said.
On Wednesday, the agency had arrested Puri and sent him to one-day judicial custody. He is accused of receiving kickbacks in the AgustaWestland deal. He has been questioned several times in the past few months by investigating agencies for alleged tax evasion.
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.
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