NEW DELHI: The enforcement directorate (ED) has challenged in the Delhi high court the bail granted to businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, in a money laundering case related to a bank loan fraud. The plea is listed for hearing before Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar on Monday.
ED challenged a trial court’s December 13, 2019, order by which Puri was given bail on a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh with two sureties of the like amount. He was earlier granted bail in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case.
Giving Puri relief, the trial court had directed him to not leave the country without its prior permission and to join the probe as and when called for. He was also asked by the court to not influence the prosecution witnesses or tamper with the evidence in any manner.
“Multiple raids have been conducted by different investigating agencies at the residential as well as official premises of Puri. In fact, the entire record of the accused company (Moser Baer) is in the custody of the official liquidator. Thus, the apprehension of the probe agency that the applicant would tamper with the evidence appears to be far-fetched,” the court had observed while granting the relief.
Opposing this line, ED has contended the trial court erred in holding that the agency’s apprehension about Puri tampering with evidence was far-fetched.
“The relevant records/documents are not available with the official liquidator and are, in fact, now accessible to the respondent (Puri) and vulnerable to tampering,” it said and sought setting aside of the trial court’s bail order.
ED had in November last year filed a chargesheet against Puri and his company Moser Baer.
It had arrested Puri on August 20 last year in the loan fraud case, which emerged from a CBI FIR. Puri was also arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the bank fraud case after he appeared before the central probe agency in the VVIP chopper scam.
The court had on December 2 last year granted bail to Puri in the AgustaWestland money laundering case while directing him to not “tamper with evidence” or “try to contact or influence the witnesses”.


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