New Delhi: In fresh trouble for businessman Ratul Puri, who is Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s Kamal Nath’s nephew, Delhi’s Rose Avenue court on Wednesday dismissed his plea to stay Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) issued against him in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. Also Read - AgustaWestland Scam: Delhi Court to Hear ED's Plea Seeking 14-Day Remand of Ratul Puri
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court, too, had turned down his anticipatory bail plea in the scam. Also Read - AgustaWestland Chopper Scam: ED Arrests Ratul Puri in Money Laundering Case
This latest setback to the 47-year-old comes after he was arrested late Monday night in connection with alleged bank fraud. On Tuesday, a special court sent him to six-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the agency that is investigating him for his role in the chopper scam, too. Also Read - AgustaWestland Case: Businessman Ratul Puri Wants to Surrender Before CBI Court
In fact, his arrest, in this case, came after he was called for questioning over the Agusta case.
The Agusta VVIP chopper scam dates back to 2006 wherein it is alleged that money was paid to middlemen and Indian officials in 2006 and 2007 to purchase helicopters for high-level politicians. The case took place when the UPA-I under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in power and came to light in early 2013. Under the deal, 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters were to be supplied for VVIP duties for the President of India and other important state officials.
Several prominent politicians, including senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, and military officials were accused of accepting bribes from AgustaWestland to win the Rs 36 billion contract.
Puri’s name cropped up when he was named by the ED in a chargesheet on May 22. This happened after Sushen Mohan Gupta, a defence agent who was arrested on March 26 for his alleged role in the scam, mentioned to the investigators that Puri was his ‘friend’. Puri currently is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hindustan Powerprojects.