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Court grants bail to AgustaWestland chopper scam accused Gautam Khaitan in black money case

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 16, 2019  | 18:23 IST

(Eds: Adding details from the order) New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) A Delhi court Tuesday granted bail to AgustaWestland chopper scam accused Gautam Khaitan in a separate black money and laundering case. Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted relief to Khaitan on a personal bond or Rs 25 lakh and two sureties of like amount. The court put various conditions on Khaitan, including that he will not tamper with the evidence or try to contact or influence the witnesses and join the investigation as and when called. The court noted the submission made by senior advocate Sidharth Luthra and advocate P K Dubey, appearing for Khaitan, that he joined the investigation as and when called and answered the questions put to him. "He joined the probe even before the arrest and also during the police remand for 13 days. Even otherwise if the accused, at this stage, is required for investigation, he can be called to join the probe," Dubey told the court. The court also noted that the case was based on documentary evidence and there was no likelihood that the accused may tamper with the evidence. It further noted that the accused was 54-year old and had deep roots in the society. The Enforcement Directorate's special public prosecutor N K Matta and advocate Samvedna Verma had opposed the bail application, saying that the investigation was still going on and was at a crucial stage. The agency had also expressed apprehension that if granted the bail, the accused may flee from justice. The fresh criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was filed by the ED against Khaitan on the basis of a case lodged by the Income Tax Department against him under the provisions of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. PTI UK SA

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