VVIP chopper: Court seeks ED's reply on woman director's bail plea


India, Crime

The court also directed Tihar Jail authorities to provide her specialised treatment within 3 days as she complained of various ailments.

Enforcement Directorate (ED). (Photo: File)

New Delhi: A special court, on Wednesday, sought response from the Enforcement Directorate on the bail plea of a woman director of two Dubai-based firms in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed the agency to file by October 6, its reply to the application moved by Shivani Saxena, an "active" director of Dubai-based M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings.

The court also directed Tihar Jail authorities to provide her specialised treatment within three days as she complained of various serious ailments.

In her bail application, the accused has claimed that she was not required in the case because investigation was already complete since the charge sheet has already been filed.

The ED had on September 13 filed a charge sheet against her and others.

Shivani Saxena and her husband Rajiv are residents of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, an archipelago which is home to the most expensive properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the charge sheet said.

It alleged that the two Dubai-based firms were the entities "through which the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares, among others" in this case.

The agency claimed that its probe had found that AgustaWestland, United Kingdom, had "paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks" through two Tunisia-based firms.

"These companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to M/s Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius and others which were further transferred to M/s UHY Saxena and M/s Matrix Holdings Ltd, Dubai and others," the charge sheet had alleged.

The ED had also arrested in this case Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan who is currently out on bail. It had registered a PMLA case in 2014 and named 21 people in its money laundering FIR.

On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks of Rs 423 crore paid by it to secure the deal.