Chopper scam approver can go abroad for treatment: HC

Chopper scam approver can go abroad for treatment: HC

The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed Rajeev Saxena, an approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, to visit abroad for treatment of his blood cancer and other ailments. (File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed Rajeev Saxena, an approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, to visit abroad for treatment of his blood cancer and other ailments.

Justice Anu Malhotra granted relief to Saxena, a middleman in the chopper purchase deal, by vacating the high court's June 4 interim order, which had stayed the trial court's June 1 decision allowing him to visit abroad.

The trial court had allowed him to visit the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Europe for a month from June 6 to July 5.

Justice Malhotra, however, modified Saxena's foreign trip tenure to a month from June 25 to July 24.

The high court gave relief to Saxena, noting that he had already been granted bail on medical grounds, before being pardoned and made an approver.

The high court said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) too had not objected to the grant of relief to him.

It also noted that two other accused in the case, Gautam Khaitan and Ritu Khaitan, were allowed to travel abroad.

"This court does not consider it appropriate to vary the impugned order (of the trial court)," ruled the high court.

The high court, however, granted relief to Saxena stipulating that he would give to the ED the addresses and contact numbers of the places he intends to visit and stay at during his trip abroad.

Saxena's itinerary, which has to be given to the court and the ED, also needs to indicate the names of the doctors and hospitals where he would be undergoing the treatment, the judge said.

Modifying Saxena's travel plans, the judge asked him to give its details to the ED by June 13.

The high court gave the investigative agency 10 days to verify the contents of Saxena's itinerary, while allowing him to visit abroad from June 25.

Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan had strongly objected to the grant of relief to Saxena, saying he had not appeared before the ED despite issuance of a non-bailable warrant against him and the UAE had to deport him to India.

Mahajan feared that if Saxena was allowed to go abroad, he may flee.

The government's lawyer also said Saxena was not cooperating with the investigation now as he was not providing details and documents in support of the statements he has made.

The ED's claims and contentions were opposed by Saxena's counsel.

The trial court had granted relief to Saxena on June 1, stipulating that he would pledge to the agency a term deposit worth Rs 50 lakh as security for his return.

The court had granted him bail on health grounds after perusing his medical reports from the AIIMS.

A director of two Dubai-based firms, UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, Saxena was one of the accused named in the charge sheet filed by the ED in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland scam.

 

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