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IT raids on VVIP chopper accused Rajeev Saxena as part of tax evasion probe

The department is also expected to move court to question Saxena, who is in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at present

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

British AgustaWestland AW101 'Merlin' HC3A in June 2012 (Source: Wikipedia, Cpl Phil Major ABIPP RAF)
British AgustaWestland AW101 'Merlin' HC3A in June 2012 (Source: Wikipedia, Cpl Phil Major ABIPP RAF)

The Income Tax Department has searched multiple locations linked to AgustaWestland case accused Rajeev Saxena as part of a tax evasion probe against him, officials said Monday.

The department has obtained some vital leads related to alleged tax evasion and undisclosed assets abroad linked to Saxena from a sister agency and hence, raids were launched Sunday, they said.

It is understood that Saxena and his firms are being probed by the department under the new anti-black money law related to certain defence deals undertaken in the past.

The department is also expected to move court to question Saxena, who is in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at present.

The Supreme Court, last week, had stayed a Delhi High Court order permitting Saxena to go abroad for treatment for blood cancer and other ailments.

Saxena has been called as an approver by the ED in the Rs 3, 600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers purchase deal case.

However, it is understood that the agency may inform the court that Saxena has been non-cooperative in the probe and has not shared the required information to qualify as an approver and get relief from prosecution under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

A vacation bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai had also issued notice to Saxena on an appeal filed by the ED challenging the June 10 Delhi High Court order permitting him to visit the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Europe from June 25 to July 24.

Saxena, a director of Dubai-based firms UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, has also been named in the charge sheet filed by the ED in the case.

The bench, which stayed the high court order for three weeks, had asked the director of AIIMS to examine Saxena's mental and physical health, and file a report within three weeks.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, had also informed the apex court that certain new facts with regard to other offences have come to light and the CBI will formally register an FIR against Saxena shortly.

Saxena was arrested by the ED in January this year after he was deported from Dubai.

First Published: Mon, July 01 2019. 13:55 IST
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