Millennium Post

Sushen's ED custody extended by 3 days

New Delhi: A special CBI court here on Wednesday granted the Enforcement Directorate an additional three-day custody of Sushen Mohan Gupta, an alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case.

Making its submissions to the court, ED prosecutors also said that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's nephew, Ratul Puri has been called in for questioning in the case. Gupta was arrested by ED officers on March 26, a day after Rajiv Saxena, another accused named in the ED chargesheet, had turned approver for the federal agency in the money laundering case.

ED prosecutor DP Singh told the court that Saxena during questioning had submitted two diaries, one pen drive, some loose sheets, and other documents relating to Gupta.

Prosecutors claimed some entries in these diaries match up exactly with entries found in fact sheets of Christian Michel James' investigation, who is now lodged in the Tihar Jail. He was extradited to India from Dubai in December, last year.

Singh added that according to Saxena's statement, the diaries belonged to Gupta and had entries to the tune of Rs 52 crore against one person initialed "RG". When confronted with these documents, Gupta categorically denied that the diaries belonged to him and said that the only "RG" he is aware of is one Rajat Gupta, according to defence lawyer BV Kapoor.

In addition, ED told Special judge Arvind Kumar that when they called Rajat Gupta to confront him with these entries, he denied being the person referred to in the diary.

Arguing for Gupta's ED custody extension, prosecutors said that he is trying to mislead investigators in the case by not disclosing the identity of "RG". In this regard, Gupta's extended custody and questioning are required to identify this individual, ED told the court.

ED prosecutors also submitted to the court that Gupta needs to be confronted with Gautam Khaitan, the prime accused advocate in the money laundering case. Presenting entries from diaries provided by Saxena, ED also said that through Gupta "substantial payments" were made to Ratul Puri's accounts by rerouting the money through Tunisia.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar subsequently directed that Gupta must be brought in front of Khaitan on April 5 in Tihar Jail, where Khaitan in being held under a separate PMLA case.

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