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Delhi court sends corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar to 14-day judicial custody

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: February 14, 2019  | 21:42 IST

(Eds: Adding details) New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) A Delhi court Thursday sent corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, arrested in money laundering case, to 14-day judicial custody. Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann said that investigation was still pending and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) needed time to complete it. "Investigation was still pending and the investigating agency needs time to complete investigation. Therefore, accused Deepak Talwar is remanded to judicial custody till February 28," the court said. Talwar was arrested on January 30, in connection to a money laundering case related to the negotiations favouring foreign private airlines and causing loss to national carrier Air India. ED, through Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, told the court that besides the properties voluntarily disclosed by Talwar, four properties in Goa and two farm houses in Satbari, Delhi have come to the agency's notice and they are yet to ascertain the financial trail regarding the source of funds. "Some new companies in which Talwar is Director or beneficial owner came to notice such as Sonar Paper Private Ltd and Savannah Farmlands Private Ltd. Savannah is based in Uganda. Investigation revealed that in the whole process various foreign entities and persons are involved for layering and integration of the proceeds of crime generated by Talwar," it said. ED had earlier told the court that investigations have revealed Talwar's connections with fugitives such as Vijay Mallya. ED, through lawyer A R Aditya, said Talwar was politically influential and hence it has apprehensions that he may tamper or hamper the evidences and thwart the investigation in the case. The court posted the matter for hearing on Feburary 28. 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. ED had earlier said that it has to find out from Talwar 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, by making the national carrier give up its profit making routes and timings. He said Talwar's exact role in the association with bilateral air services talks and the inroads made to influence the decisions was being probed. Mallya, the 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, has been on bail in the UK on an extradition warrant since his arrest in April last year and is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering allegedly amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores. UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid had on February 4 ordered his extradition, in a major blow to the embattled liquor baron. He had lost a legal challenge against his extradition in a British court in December. Talwar was deported from Dubai on January 30 and arrested by the agency on landing here. Talwar has been charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery and under various other sections of the FCRA for allegedly diverting Rs 90.72 crore worth of foreign funds meant for ambulances and other articles received by his NGO from Europe's leading missile manufacturing company. The agency had claimed that entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused received exorbitant amounts from the 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 and February 6, 2009. His role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) regime at the Centre is under scanner as well. Talwar was booked by the ED and CBI in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income Tax Department charged him with tax evasion. PTI URD PKS SA

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