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VVIP chopper case: Court to hear Rajeev Saxena's bail plea Thursday

VVIP chopper case: Court to hear Rajeev Saxenas bail plea Thursday

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday said it will hear the bail plea of Rajeev Saxena, arrested in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland money-laundering case, on Thursday after examining his medical report which was yet to be submitted by AIIMS.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar, who on Tuesday sent Saxena to jail till February 18, said he will hear the matter after AIIMS submits the report.

Saxena has sought bail on medical grounds and told the court that he was suffering from a "heart disease" and "advanced-stage leukaemia" (blood cancer).

The Enforcement Directorate, which arrested Saxena in the money laundering case, said it was not opposed to grant of bail to him provided he does not leave Delhi.

Saxena, a director of two Dubai-based firms UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, has said in his bail application that he was an extremely sick with advanced terminal diseases and had coronary heart disease with four stents in his heart.

"The present application is being filed in grave urgency, keeping in mind the medical condition of the applicant (Saxena), as any further custody will have grave and irreparable damage on his medical condition, which is fragile, and there is likelihood of contracting other diseases because of his low immunity level," the plea stated.

The court, when sending Saxena to judicial custody for two days, had directed Tihar jail authorities to take him to All India Institute of Medical Sciences for a medical check-up.

Saxena's plea said the medicines for leukaemia are administered to him daily and they are available only by special order at American Hospital in Dubai, UAE, and his tests are done weekly at the said hospital.

"Saxena's back condition, which is precarious, has worsened," the plea said.

Saxena, who is in custody since January 31 after his deportation from Dubai, said in his plea that when all the other accused in the case, including Gautam Khaitan, Ritu Khaitan, S P Tyagi, and others were out on bail, there could be "no justification" to deny him the same relief.

He has said that since his passport is with ED, there was no likelihood of him absconding.

Saxena, a Dubai-based businessman, is one of the accused named in the chargesheet 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 sought extension of Saxena's custody on the ground that the agency wanted to confront him with Gautam Khaitan, a Delhi-based lawyer and co-accused, who was arrested in the case and is in the agency's custody in another case.

It had alleged that in connivance with Gautam Khaitan, Saxena had provided a global corporate structure for laundering the 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 living in the UAE for 26 years.

Maintaining that AgustaWestland had paid 58 million euros 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".

On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.

PTI

PTI

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