A Delhi court on Saturday granted anticipatory bail to Yasmin Kapoor, a close aide of aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar, in a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
The order was passed by Special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Anurag Sain after Kapoor pleaded that no coercive action be taken by ED against her.
The agency had informed the court on Friday that fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing extradition proceedings in London, recently spoke to Kapoor, asking her to “manage his case” lodged by ED.
Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana had made the submission while opposing Kapoor’s anticipatory bail in the money laundering probe related to Talwar’s NGO Advantage India.
He had alleged that the NGO received Rs 90.72 crore under a Corporate Social Responsibility scheme for carrying out social activities but diverted the amount for purposes other than that.
Rana had claimed that Kapoor played a key role in laundering the money.
CBI had arrested her in September last year in the same case, after which ED also took her custody, but in connection with a separate case related to causing loss to Air India by favouring private airlines.
On December 13, Kapoor, who was in judicial custody, was granted bail.
According to ED, Kapoor is an alleged key link to unearthing a larger conspiracy in Talwar’s deals in the Advantage India case. Kapoor was allegedly shareholder or director in several shell companies created or controlled by Talwar.
Rana had submitted that Mallya made a call from London to Kapoor, asking her “if she knew ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra” and if she can help “manage his case”.
Kapoor conveyed to Mallya that she was not acqauinted with Mishra but she knew the “number 2” in the agency. Her phone was put under surveillance by ED, the prosecutor said.
According to an agency official, Mallya’s alleged call to Kapoor showed that he was trying to influence the investigation against him in India and the UK court will be informed about it when his appeal against extradition comes up for hearing in February.
The official also claimed that Kapoor’s reference to the “no 2” in the agency was nothing but bragging.