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VVIP Chopper case: Delhi court grants bail to Rajeev Saxena on medical grounds

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Rajeev Saxena, who was arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money laundering case, was on Monday granted bail by a Delhi court on medical grounds.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar said that it was clear from the medical record submitted by AIIMS that Saxena is suffering from a number of serious ailments including blood cancer and needs constant medical checkups.
"Considering the overall facts and circumstances and the serious medical condition of accused, the applicant/accused is admitted to bail on his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 5 lakh with two sureties of the like amount", the court said.
The court also imposed certain conditions on Saxena and said he will not tamper with evidence and join investigation as and when called.
The court said Saxena should not leave the country without its permission.
While granting the bail, the court also noted that the other co-accused in the case, including SP Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan, have already been released on bail.
Saxena, who is in custody since January 31 after his deportation from Dubai, said in his bail plea that when all the other accused in the case, including Khaitan, Ritu Khaitan and S P Tyagi were out on bail, there could be "no justification" to deny him the same relief.
Saxena, a director of two Dubai-based firms - UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, is one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by ED in the AgustaWestland case.
Christian Michel, former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former Air Force chief SP Tyagi and Saxena's wife Shivani have also been named by the agency in the chargesheet.
The ED had alleged that in connivance with Khaitan, Saxena provided a global corporate structure for laundering illegal proceeds of the crime for payment to various political persons, bureaucrats and Air Force officials to influence the contract to supply 12 VVIP helicopters in favour of AgustaWestland.
Saxena was residing in Palm Jumeriah, Dubai and has been living in the UAE for last 26 years.
Maintaining that AgustaWestland had paid Euro 58 million as kickbacks through two Tunisia-based firms, the ED has alleged that "these companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others".
It was alleged by the probe agency that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities "through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/ shares, among others" in this case.
On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 7:30 PM IST

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