The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea to revoke the approver status and cancel the bail granted to Rajiv Saxena in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
Justice C Hari Shankar, who pronounced the verdict via video conferencing, also asked the ED to go back to the trial court to seek relief. The detailed judgement of the court is awaited.
The ED had sought the revocation of Rajiv Saxena’s approver status on the ground that he had undertaken to disclose all the facts related to the offence but was not complying.
The probe agency had challenged the trial court’s order which had refused to cancel his bail and revoke his approver status.
The Dubai-based businessman, Rajiv Saxena was extradited to India on January 31 last year in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore scam relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.
ED, in its plea before the trial court, had said that while seeking pardon, Rajiv Saxena had said he will make full disclosure of the facts within his knowledge and his statement was recorded in March last year after which he was granted pardon and was allowed to be an approver by the trial court.
The ED had contended that Rajiv Saxena has very strategically withheld and not disclosed full and true facts which were within his knowledge, relating to the commission of the offence, and has deliberately hidden and fabricated certain documents to shield the other co-accused, which was contrary to the terms of pardon granted by the court.
The trial court, in its order refusing to cancel his bail and approver status, had said that failure of accused to comply with the conditions on which the pardon was tendered, makes him liable to be tried.
However, Rajiv Saxena was yet to enter into the witness box to depose before the court and as on date, his status is that of a witness. Therefore, there was no question of cancellation of his bail, the court had said.
It had also refused to revoke Rajiv Saxena’s approver status in the money laundering case, saying the ED’s plea was premature and the agency may move an appropriate application for revocation of pardon granted to him, if so needed, at an appropriate stage.