A Delhi court on Friday sought response from Enforcement Directorate on a bail application of lawyer Gautam Khaitan who was sent to judicial custody in a fresh case of alleged possession and laundering of black money.
Khaitan, who is also an accused in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, was produced before Special Judge Arvind Kumar on expiry of his custodial interrogation in the money laundering case and the ED requested the court to send him to judicial custody (JC).
The ED said that if left free, Khaitan may flee from justice and hamper the probe after which the court sent him to JC till February 20.
Khaitan had earlier claimed before the court that ED was forcing him to falsely implicate someone influential in "any defence deal" which happened during the UPA regime.
Khaitan's lawyer had said: "They asked me (Khaitan) to give any name involved in any defence deal (of UPA period). They asked to give any name, that they needed it within these two months. They are constantly forcing me to give name and I will be absolved.
"When Michel (middleman recently extradited from Dubai) came, you (ED) said he had taken my name and I was required to be confronted. But nothing came out of that case. Now you have come up with this case."
The agency, through advocate Samvedna Verma, had earlier told the court, "Khaitan knows all the persons related to arms deals other than AgustaWestland and other deals. There are many more information where people who handle other deals were in his contact."
The ED has maintained that the present case had nothing to do with the alleged AgustaWestland scam and that the accused was operating and holding a number of foreign accounts illegally and thereby possessing black money and stashing assets.
The present case under the PMLA was filed by the ED against Khaitan on the basis of a case filed by the Income Tax Department against him under Section 51 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
The ED has said that it had the knowledge of Khaitan's unidentified assets which value more than Rs 500 crore.
Khaitan was placed under arrest on January 25 by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Khaitan had been arrested by the ED and the CBI a few years ago in connection with their probe in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland case.
A charge sheet was also filed against him by the two agencies and he was currently out on bail.
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