Businessman-cum-lawyer Gautam Khaitan is likely to spend this Diwali in jail, where he’s been lodged since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) 28 days ago in the Rs 3,600 AgustaWestland scam, as a Delhi court Monday denied his bail application.
Special judge VK Gupta dismissed Khaitan’s bail application before a crowded court room filled with his lawyers and well-wishers. “I’m sorry, bail is dismissed,” the judge said to the waiting onlookers.
Khaitan’s counsels PV Kapoor and PK Dubey had sought bail on the grounds that, in parallel proceedings in an Italian court, AgustaWestland executives had been acquitted of corruption charges. Their client was a “soft target”, they had contended.
The bail plea, however, was vehemently opposed by ED’s prosecutors Vikas Garg and Naveen Kumar Matta who said the agency was currently investigating the proceeds of the alleged crime, and the same could be hampered by Khaitan who could indulge in witness tampering if released.
Matta told HT that the ED was likely to ask for further extension of Khaitan’s judicial custody on Tuesday.
The supply of VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland came under the scanner after the Italian authorities alleged that bribe was paid by the company to clinch the deal.