The Delhi High Court on 20th August dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in a money-laundering case related to the Agusta Westland chopper scam.
Justice Sunil Gaur after hearing the counsels for Ratul Puri and the Enforcement Directorate, said that severity of the punishment alone can’t be the criteria to determine the grant or refusal of a bail plea.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, counsel for the Enforcement Directorate, argued that evasiveness of reply is a ground to seek his custodial interrogation.
Court is of the prima facie opinion that custodial interrogation of the petitioner is required for an effective investigation. Mere attachment of petitioners property in Income Tax Proceedings would not justify for grant of pre-arrest Bail to petitioner, who is not only evasive in his replies but is trying to influence the witnesses. Same is evident from the statement of witness recorded by the respondent which has been provided to this court in sealed cover.
Ratul Puri had challenged the August 6 order of the trial court dismissing his anticipatory bail plea.
On August 9, the trial court issued a non-bailable warrant against Puri on the Enforcement Directorate‘s plea. Puri was arrested Monday night in another bank loan fraud case under the PMLA.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday said that he is not connected with his nephew’s business and the arrest is mala fides.
— India Legal Bureau