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Wednesday 3 June 2020

Nephew of Kamal Nath swings between bail and jail

Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, had approached the trial court seeking anticipatory bail in the case



New Delhi: Businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, on Tuesday withdrew his petition from the Delhi High Court seeking direction to a trial court not to pronounce order on his anticipatory bail plea without hearing his other pending applications. He is an accused in a money laundering case related to the VVIP chopper scam.

The nephew of Kamal Nath, Ratul Puri has also sought an extension of interim protection from arrest by a week and challenged reserving of the order on anticipatory bail, saying the court has not decided his application seeking a copy of an FIR and a statement recorded under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed the plea after Puri’s counsel sought permission to withdraw it. The court granted him liberty to approach the trial court with the plea during the day. The trial court, which had on 2 August reserved its order on the businessman’s anticipatory bail plea, is scheduled to pronounce the decision later in the day.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, representing Puri, said that the trial court has reserved order on his anticipatory bail plea but did not decide his applications seeking a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and a statement recorded under the PMLA.

The high court said it is too late and what can be done now as the trial court is slated to give its order during the day. Advocates DP Singh and Amit Mahajan, representing the ED, said the trial court judge had said he will decide all the issues together.

The trial court had granted him interim protection from arrest till Tuesday. The nephew of Kamal Nath, Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Power projects Pvt Ltd, had on 27 July approached the trial court seeking anticipatory bail in the case, saying he feared arrest in the case. Puri recently appeared before the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in the case pertaining to the now-scrapped Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal with AgustaWestland.

The ED has been seeking the businessman’s custody to further investigate the matter. The agency’s counsel had earlier contended before the trial court that Puri was an influential person and might flee the country. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland. The deal was scrapped by the NDA government in 2014 over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal.


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