The Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday rejected the anticipatory bail application of Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, in connection with the AgustaWestland Chopper scam. Since Ratul Puri's application has been dismissed, Enforcement Directorate (ED) can now arrest him in connection with the case. Sources within the agency have told India Today that Ratul Puri will be summoned for questioning and once he appears, decision on his arrest will be taken.
The court said, "Ratul Puri does not have any protection order from any court of law. An arrest can now be made by the Enforcement Directorate over the alleged money laundering in Augusta West Land Chopper Scam."
The ED maintained that they have concrete evidence against Ratul Puri and since he has been non-cooperative during the questioning, his custodial interrogation is required. The ED said before the court that they have sufficient incriminating evidence to arrest Ratul Puri and to interrogate him thoroughly. They asked the court to reject his anticipatory bail application.
The court also rejected Puri's application seeking copy of ECIR and statements recorded under Section 50 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Ratul Puri had sought protection from arrest on the grounds that he has been cooperating with investigation and that ED has been harassing him because he is related to MP CM Kamal Nath.
ED, during the arguments, alleged that Ratul Puri had presented false documents and hindered the investigation. The agency also alleged that all of his phones are switched off and they are unable to communicate with him.
"The money has come from different illegal channel. Sushen Gupta's diary disclosed the name of the Ratul Puri. These people are dealing large cash," the ED counsel had argued.
Ratul Puri had allegedly fled from the ED office midway while he was being questioned by investigators on July 26. Later Puri and his driver switched off their phones and went to Lalit Hotel to meet his lawyers to prepare for the anticipatory bail.
The ED claimed that middleman Christian Michel gave $1 million to Ratul Puri and directed him to distribute it as bribe. The agency suspects that the firms of Ratul Puri were used by middleman Michel and accused Rajiv Saxena to distribute and route the bribe.