The Patiala House Court on Saturday granted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) two days judicial custody of Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, in connection with a fresh case of possession of black money and money laundering. According to reports, the ED told the court that Khaitan was running less of a law firm and more of a money and hence his custody is required for questioning.
Metropolitan Magistrate Neetu Sharma sent Khaitan to custody after the agency alleged that he was operating and holding a number of foreign accounts illegally and thereby possessing black money and stash assets. "He is running less of a law firm & more of a money laundering business. We need to ask questions. This custody is necessary," ANI quoted ED as saying.
Delhi: Hearing underway in Patiala House Court after the arrest of Gautam Khaitan by ED in a case of black money under the Black Money Act; ED says, "He is running less of a law firm & more of a money laundering business. We need to ask questions. This custody is necessary"— ANI (@ANI) January 26, 2019
During the court proceedings, the ED's special public prosecutors DP Singh and NK Matta also maintained that the present case had nothing to do with the alleged AgustaWestland scam.
However, Khaitan's advocate P K Dubey opposed the ED's submissions saying the agency has forging documents. He claimed that the case number of the present case is that of the AgustaWestland case.
Earlier on Friday, Khaitan was placed under arrest by the agency sleuths under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Sources said a fresh criminal case under the PMLA was filed by the ED against Khaitan on the basis of a case filed by the Income Tax Department against him under Section 51 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
The Income Tax Department had last week carried out searches against Khaitan in this new case filed under the anti-black money law. Khaitan had been arrested by the ED and the CBI a few years ago in connection with their probe in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland case. A chargesheet was also filed against him by the two agencies and he was currently out on bail, they said.
With PTI Inputs