VVIP chopper scam: Delhi court refuses to cancel NBWs against business tycoon Shravan Gupta

The court noted that the warrant was issued against Gupta on 29 August as he did not join the investigation despite receipt of summons and was trying to evade the probe

Press Trust of India December 15, 2020 16:54:03 IST
VVIP chopper scam: Delhi court refuses to cancel NBWs against business tycoon Shravan Gupta

Representational Image. News18

New Delhi: A Delhi court has refused to cancel the non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against Shravan Gupta, the former managing director of realty major Emmar MGF, in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper money laundering case, saying he was not cooperating in the investigation.

The court said Gupta's application seeking cancellation of the NBWs was without any merit and also noted that the warrant was issued against him on 29 August as he did not join the investigation despite receipt of summons and was trying to evade the probe on one ground or the other.

Enforcement Directorate had submitted that Gupta failed to join the investigation despite service of nine summons which led to issuance of NBWs against him and that he was not cooperating in the investigation.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar in a 5 December order said, "In the present matter, applicant did not join investigation despite receipt of summons and is trying to evade the investigation on one ground or the other."

"Even during present proceedings, the applicant did not express intention to appear before Enforcement Directorate (ED) to join the investigation He also did not appear before this court when the application was taken up for hearing. It only shows that applicant is not willing to cooperate in the investigation," the judge said.

The court said, "The application filed by applicant for cancellation of NBWs is without any merit and is liable to be dismissed and thus dismissed accordingly."

According to the ED, € 12.4 million were transferred to the accounts of Interstellar Technologies Limited, Mauritius, which was one of the main fronts which has been used for laundering the proceeds of crime in the present case. Out of funds received in Interstellar Technologies Limited, huge amount of proceeds of crime were transferred in accounts of those companies which are under the control of Shravan Gupta, the agency said.

During the hearing, the counsel for Gupta submitted that he was suffering from various ailments which makes him extremely susceptible to contacting COVID-19.

The ED submitted that the accused, time and again, was asked to disclose the facts relating to his entities but he failed to make any disclosure and it came to know that proceeds of crime were laundered and parked in his foreign companies as well only after receiving responses to Letter Rogatory.

The ED had earlier this year searched the premises of Gupta to collect the evidence in connection with the case. Gupta was grilled by the ED in Rs 3,600-crore VVIP choppers deal case in 2016.

The officials said that the fresh action against the businessman has come about after certain revelations made by the other accused in the case and some fresh evidence obtained by the agency.

The ED lodged the money laundering case following alleged irregularities in purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland. The deal was scrapped by India in 2014.

The agency, in 2018, seized assets worth Rs 10.28 crore of Gupta on charges of him allegedly holding undisclosed deposits in a Swiss bank account.

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