Businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, told a Delhi court Friday that he was not going to run away if granted bail in a money laundering case related to the VVIP chopper scam.
Puri sought bail from the court saying he was not an accused in the predicate offence, lodged by the CBI based on which the Enforcement Directorate lodged the present case.
Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Puri, told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that he was not a director or a shareholder, directly or indirectly, of the nine companies where the money has gone according to the ED complaint.
"I (Puri) have not received the proceeds of crime, I cannot be tried in this case at all," the counsel told the court.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, also appearing for Puri, told the court that he cannot be kept in jail forever.
"I (Puri) am not going to run away if granted the bail. I cannot be kept in jail forever. Bail is the rule and jail is exception," he told the court.
The ED had arrested Puri on September 4 in the case and he is currently in judicial custody.
"I (Puri) will be an accused in this case only when money related to AgustaWestland comes to my account... If they (ED) are unable to prove this, then the complaint goes. I am not the accused in the predicate offence. There is no direct evidence to show that I have received the money.
"We are dealing with amounts and the accounts. The complaint has been filed and the agency knows that it does not have evidence against me and which is why they have said that the investigation is going on," Pahwa said.
"I (Puri) am not the director or shareholder of the nine companies, directly or indirectly, where the money has gone according to the ED complaint. I have not received the proceeds of crime, I cannot be tried in this case at all," he added.
The court will further hear the matter on November 25.
Puri moved the bail plea through advocate Vijay Agarwal, saying he was not required for further investigation and no purpose will be served by keeping him in custody.
The Enforcement Directorate recently filed a supplementary Prosecution Complaint against Ratul Puri and Jaspreet Ahuja in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.
In January 2014, India had scrapped a contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary, AgustaWestland, for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force, over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks worth Rs 423 crore being paid to secure the deal.Also read: VVIP chopper scam: Court issues notice to Enforcement Directorate on Ratul Puri's bail plea