VVIP chopper scam: HC seeks ED reply on woman director's bail plea

VVIP chopper scam: HC seeks ED reply on woman director's bail plea

New Delhi, PTI: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) response on a bail plea of a woman director of two Dubai-based firms arrested in connection with a money laundering case arising out of the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper scam.

Justice A K Pathak issued a notice to the ED seeking its reply on the bail application by December 1.

Shivani Saxena, director of Dubai-based M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings, was arrested by the ED and is currently in judicial custody.

Senior advocates Dayan Krishnan and Mohit Mathur, appearing for Shivani, submitted that the woman has not been charge-sheeted by the CBI in the main case but only the ED has charge-sheeted her under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The counsel said when the accused was not charge-sheeted for the main offence, the gravity of scheduled offence dilutes. They further submitted that the woman has been in jail for over three months now.

The high court had in September dismissed an earlier bail plea of Shivani. She was also denied relief by the trial court.

Shivani was nabbed on July 17 by the ED from Chennai under the provisions of the PMLA.

The ED has charge-sheeted her and the companies under various sections of the PMLA.

Shivani and her husband Rajiv Saxena are residents of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The charge sheet contains her name and that of her husband, who is also a director in the two firms.

Rajiv has been evading ED summons and not joining the probe, the ED had alleged. The agency has so far not named him as an accused.

The ED has alleged that the two Dubai-based firms and Shivani were the ones through whom "the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated into buying the immovable properties/shares among others".

The agency has claimed its probe found that AgustaWestland, United Kingdom, had "paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks" through two Tunisia-based firms.

"These companies further syphoned 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," the charge sheet has said.

The ED had also claimed that Rajiv was the "beneficial owner of M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius".

It has alleged that both the Dubai-based companies of the couple "received the proceeds of crime in their respective Dubai bank accounts" from the Mauritius-based firm.

The ED, in this case, had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan who is currently out on bail.

The ED had registered a PMLA case in 2014 and named 21 people, including Tyagi, in its money laundering FIR.

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 breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.

Assembly elections 2019 | Get the latest news, views and analysis on elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on DeccanHerald.com

For election-related news in Maharashtra, click here

For election-related news in Haryana, click here

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)