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Aviation scam: Court cancels anticipatory bail granted to aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 23, 2019  | 19:41 IST

New Delhi, Sep 23 (PTI) A Delhi court Monday cancelled the anticipatory bail granted earlier to the close aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar in a money laundering case related to the negotiations favouring foreign private airlines and causing loss to national carrier Air India. Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj cancelled the relief granted to Yasmin Kapoor, a close aide of Talwar, after noting submission by the Enforcement Directorate that the accused was misusing the bail granted by the court. Kapoor was granted anticipatory bail by the court on March 22 while Talwar is in the judicial custody. The CBI on Monday filed a charge sheet against Talwar and Kapoor for alleged corruption related to the aviation scam and it is likely to come up for consideration on October 1. In its order in the money laundering case being probed by the ED, the court said that Kapoor had "not adhered to the expected norms/rules of being on bail staying aloof of the investigation, the issues related to the investigation, the process of administration of justice; and to the contrary has made efforts to influence to system". "In view of the above, the anticipatory bail granted to the accused cannot be allowed to be continued. The same is cancelled," the court said. Nitesh Rana, the Special Public Prosecutor for ED, told the court that "there was clinching evidence to show that Kapoor, in coordination with Talwar, was involved in destruction of crucial evidence and influencing the people to derail the trial". Kapoor denied the allegations made by the ED. "No specific contents have been mentioned regarding destruction of evidence and influencing the witnesses. There is no mention how the accused is influencing the judicial proceedings. The entire evidence is documentary in nature and cannot be tempered with the accused," Kapoor's counsel said. There were reasons to believe that the tainted money, received from the foreign airlines, has been used for acquisition of Kapoor's New Delhi residence property, ED's advocate A R Aditya said. The ED claimed that several companies, in which Kapoor was a shareholder along with Talwar, received the proceeds of the crime in which investigation was ongoing. Kapoor had sought anticipatory bail, claiming that the ED had threatened her to take names and also convince Talwar to give names of government officials/ political functionaries, failing which she would be arrested and face trouble. Talwar was deported from the UAE in connection with a money laundering case. The ED had earlier said that it needed to interrogate Talwar to get the names of officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India, who favoured foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia. The agency had claimed entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused received exorbitant amounts from Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia and submitted a chart of total USD 60.54 million received by firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between April 23, 2008 to February 6, 2009. His alleged role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) regime at the Centre is under the scanner as well. Talwar was booked by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department charged him with tax evasion. Kapoor is currently in custody in a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules by his NGO Advantage India. The case relates to alleged misappropriation of Rs 90 crore received by Advantage India through foreign funding. PTI UK SA

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