Friday, September 22, 2023

Delhi court to hear plea moved by lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the AgustaWestland money laundering case on April 3

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A Delhi court has decided to hear a plea moved by lawyer Gautam Khaitan, in relation to an accused in the AgustaWestland money laundering case, for further modifying or setting aside a bail condition that was required from him to periodically report to office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)on April 3

In the year 2021,while rejecting the ED’s plea to cancel Khaitan’s bail, the court had directed Khaitan for reporting to the ED’s office once a week.

The court had put this condition as a resort to ensure that Khaitan has no chance of tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses.

However in the year 2022, Khaitan moved a plea stating that he was suffering from various ailments and he had no reasons that he should be reporting to the ED office once a week beyond marking his presence.

Khaitan also submitted that he had been cooperating with the probe and has always reported to the ED office as and when required by the agency. He had also urged the court for waiving the earlier requirement of him having to appear before the ED office once a week.

The plea had been opposed by the ED stating that Khaitan was mischievously trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to get such conditions revoked

The ED also said due to the pandemic the case had lost steam and that there was no requirement to revoke the condition referred to.

Khaitan has now moved another similar application, as per a March 7, 2023 order passed by a Rouse Avenue court in Delhi.

The ED told the Court that it would be filing a reply to the said application by the next date of hearing.

Special Judge has taken on record the submission that communication between the Indian government and the Italian government regarding the service of summons is already on record.

The application by Khaitan was then posted for consideration on April 3 .The main case will be taken up next on March 22.

Khaitan has been accused of bribe for the defense deal with Italian chopper manufacturer AgustaWestland for 12 AW-101 choppers during the Congress party led-UPA era in 2010.

Khaitan after being arrested was granted bail in connection with this case in 2015. The ED’s application to cancel bail in this case was rejected by the court on March 2, 2021.

Khaitan was arrested by the ED in 2019. in case of Black Money Act of 2015, after the probe agency claimed to have unearthed material against him in Income Tax raids conducted at his offices in Delhi-NCR.

Later on, he was granted bail in this case by a Special CBI Court presided over by Judge Arvind Kumar.

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