AgustaWestland case: Delhi court grants interim bail to Saxena

AgustaWestland case: Delhi court grants interim bail to Saxena

Agency News

New Delhi Feb 14 : A Delhi court on Thursday granted interim bail till, February 22, to the Dubai-based businessman, Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, who was wanted in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.

Saxena was wanted in Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers Money Laundering case by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a case of misusing over Rs 90 crore taken through the Foreign Funding Route (FFR). He was brought in a special plane to Delhi and arrested by the ED. Earlier, he was picked by the Dubai authorities after a request made by the Indian agencies.

British National Christian James Michel, alleged Middleman, was extradited last year in the month of December from Dubai to India in connection with the same case.

The ED had summoned Rajeev Saxena multiple times in the case and had arrested his wife Shivani Saxena from Chennai airport in July, 2017 and she is now out on bail.

It is alleged on behalf of ED that Rajeev, his wife and their two Dubai-based firms Ms UHY Saxena, Dubai and Ms Matrix Holdings routed "the proceeds of crime and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others".

The ED further alleged that "AgustaWestland International Ltd, UK paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia and "These companies further siphoned off the said proceeds of crime in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius, and others which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings Ltd. Dubai and others".

The ED alleged Rajeev is "beneficial owner" of Interstellar Technologies Ltd and both his companies received proceeds of crime in their respective Dubai bank accounts from this firm and couple have remitted/ transferred a "huge amount of money" through their Dubai based companies to various other accounts.

On January 1, 2014, India 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 to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.

Counsel for Saxena moved the bail application by citing his health issues following which the court has demanded his medical records from Delhi AIIMS hospital. Counsel for ED vehemently opposed the bail application of Saxena.

Additional Session Judge Arvind Kumar on Thursday, after hearing arguments on behalf of the government counsel and defence counsel, granted interim bail to Saxena till February 22 with the conditions of furnishing two surety bond of Rs 5 lakh each. (UNI)