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AgustaWestland case: Delhi court extends interim protection to Ratul Puri

A Delhi court has extended interim protection from arrest granted to businessman Ratul Puri till Friday in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
AgustaWestland case: Delhi court extends interim protection to Ratul Puri

A Delhi court has extended interim protection from arrest granted to businessman Ratul Puri till Friday in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar extended the protection provided to him as arguments on a bail plea filed by Puri remained inconclusive.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing Puri's alleged role in the scam, has been seeking the businessman's custody to further investigate the matter.

On Wednesday, Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh, who is representing the ED, had told the court that the accused was very influential and he may flee the country.

He also said that Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, was trying to influence witnesses in the case.

Earlier, the ED's counsel had told the court that Puri received money in the deal. "There are 100 mails to show that. His people are talking of dealing in cash authorised by him and that cash is huge," Singh had said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Puri, had earlier stated that his client is "not on flight risk. "There is no authentic information of evidence tempering," he had contended.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in purchase of 12 VVIP choppers for Italy-based Finmeccca's British subsidiary AgustaWestland.

The deal was scrapped by the NDA government in 2014 over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal.

( With inputs from ANI )

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