New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday extended the interim protection from the arrest of businessman Ratul Puri for another day till August 1 as the hearing on his anticipatory bail in connection with the AgustaWestland case could not be completed. Also Read - AgustaWestland Scam: Delhi Court to Hear ED's Plea Seeking 14-Day Remand of Ratul Puri
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court adjourned the hearing on the petition of Tihar Jail against the trial court’s order allowing Christian Michel to speak on phone for 15 minutes against the allotted time of 10 minutes. Also Read - AgustaWestland Chopper Scam: ED Arrests Ratul Puri in Money Laundering Case
The court on Wednesday issued a production warrant for Christian Michel’s presence in the court for August 21. Also Read - AgustaWestland Case: Businessman Ratul Puri Wants to Surrender Before CBI Court
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday had opposed Puri’s bail plea alleging that he was responsible for tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses in the money laundering case related to the VVIP chopper scam.
ED Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh had told the court, calling him an influential person, “One witness, we believe, must have been killed. We cannot reach him. His whole family is in shock. They are so scared that they have not filed an FIR.”
ED’s counsel further stated to the court, “The case is not based on the political vendetta.”
On Monday, Puri’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal had argued that “the same court has granted anticipatory bail to Robert Vadra in a case in which he had appeared around nine times. As far as Ratul Puri matter is concerned, my client has visited more than 25 times.”
The AgustaWestland case pertains to alleged irregularities in purchases of 12 VVIP choppers for Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland. The deal was scrapped by Modi government in 2014 over alleged breach of contractual obligations to the tune of Rs 423 crore for securing the deal.