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Chopper scam: HC seeks Saxena's reply on ED plea to cancel bail, revoke approver status

Law Crime

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Delhi High Court Monday sought response of accused-turned-approver Rajiv Saxena on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate challenging the bail granted to him in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal scam.

Justice C Hari Shankar, who conducted the hearing through video conferencing, issued notice to Saxena on ED's plea which also sought revocation of his approver status on the ground that he had undertaken to disclose all the facts related to the offence but he was not doing so.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on June 3.

The probe agency has challenged the trial court's order which refused to cancel his bail and revoke the approver status given to him.

The Dubai-based businessman was extradited to India on January 31 last year in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore scam case relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.

In its plea before the trial court, the ED had said that while seeking pardon, Saxena said he would make full disclosure of the facts within his knowledge. His statement was recorded in March last year after which he was granted pardon.

Saxena was allowed to become an approver by the trial court subject to his making full and true disclosure of the whole of circumstances within his knowledge relating to the offence.

The ED contended that Saxena very strategically withheld information and has not disclosed full and true facts which were within his knowledge, relating to the commission of the offence.

It also alleged that he has deliberately hidden and fabricated certain documents to shield the other co-accused, which was contrary to the terms of the grant of pardon granted by the court.

The trial court, in its order refusing to cancel his bail and the approver status, had said that failure of the accused to comply with the conditions on which the pardon was tendered, makes him liable to be tried.

However, Saxena was yet to enter into the witness box to depose before the court and as on date, his status was of a witness and he has ceased to be an accused. Therefore, there was no question of cancellation of his bail, the court further stated.

It had also refused to revoke Saxena's approver status in the money laundering case, saying the ED's plea was premature and the agency may move an appropriate application for revocation of pardon granted to him, if so needed, at appropriate stage.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 18 2020. 14:48 IST