VVIP chopper scam: ED summons Kamal Nath's nephew for interrogation

Kamal Nath

Enforcement Directorate informed a Delhi court Wednesday that it has summoned Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, for interrogation in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

ED told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Puri, Chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt Ltd, was summoned for confronting him with Sushen Mohan Gupta, an arrested middleman in the case, whose custodial interrogation was today extended by three more days by the court.

Seeking the extension of Gupta's custody, ED told the court that he was required to be confronted with various people including Puri in the case pertaining to the now scrapped Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal.

Puri, who was summoned to join the probe on Wednesday, denied having "any connection or involvement of any kind in defence or the case".

In a statement, his company said: "He would by fully cooperating with the ED investigation and provide any clarification or information as may be required."

According to ED sources, Puri's name appeared in the statement recorded by middleman and Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena, who recently turned approver in the case.

ED's special public prosecutors D P Singh and N K Matta also told the court that the agency wanted to identify one "RG", in whose name entries of over Rs 50 crore were made in Gupta's diaries.

"The custodial interrogation of Gupta is required as he is misguiding the probe by deliberately giving wrong explanation of abbreviations in his diaries wherein abbreviation 'RG' finds mention in many pages as well as pen drive data.

"More than Rs 50 crore shown to have been received from 'RG' between 2004 to 2016, whereas the 'RG' identified by Gupta, i.e., Rajat Gupta, had admitted to have cash transactions with Sushen from 2007 onwards and the same are being quantified," the agency told the court.

The agency submitted that Sushen said he only knew one 'RG' who was Rajat Gupta, whereas Rajat denied the transactions made in the name of RG and said he not the person being referred to.

ED told the court that Sushen was not coming out with true and correct fact or identifying who is the real RG mentioned in the entries.

ED's advocate Samvedna Verma sought extension of Sushen's custodial interrogation by six more days, saying that he was non-cooperative and evasive in his replies.

Gupta was arrested by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The probe agency had said Gupta's role in the case came to light on the basis of disclosures made by Saxena, who has turned approver in the case after he was deported from the UAE and arrested by the agency here.

It was suspected that Gupta has in his possession some payment details in the purchase of AgustaWestland VVIP choppers and the link is to be unravelled, ED said.


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