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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

AgustaWestland case: Record Rajiv Saxena’s statement, says court

The special judge, Arvind Kumar marked the matter to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate before whom Saxena will record his statement on March 2.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2019 23:16 IST
Namita Singh
Namita Singh
Hindustan Times
A day after Rajiv Saxena, an accused in the ₹3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper purchase case moved an application to be an approver, a Delhi court ordered the recording of his statement.
A day after Rajiv Saxena, an accused in the ₹3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper purchase case moved an application to be an approver, a Delhi court ordered the recording of his statement. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
         

A day after Rajiv Saxena, an accused in the ₹3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper purchase case moved an application to be an approver, a Delhi court ordered the recording of his statement.

The special judge, Arvind Kumar marked the matter to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate before whom Saxena will record his statement on March 2.

Saxena, who got round-the-clock security after he received bail earlier this week, informed the court that it was under his “own free will” that he has decided to turn an approver in the case. “No assurances were given and none were sought,” he added.

In his deposition before the court, he further said, “The reason is, I have throught long and hard about it. I think my exposure to the case is very minimal. I have no intention to not cooperate in the case. I think it is logical to complete my testimony in a fair way.” The court told him that he might not be absolved despite making the disclosure.

“Do you know that despite making the disclosure, you still might not be absolved of the punishment? That is for the court to decide,” said the judge. Saxena replied in the affirmative.

The court on Wednesday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate, seeking its response; DP Singh, special public prosecutor for ED, said the agency will file a reply “after court takes cognisance (of his application)”.

Saxena’s lawyer, senior advocate Geeta Luthra, persisted, but ED refused to file any written submission. ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are probing charges of corruption and money laundering in the 2007 contract for the purchase of 12 luxury VVIP helicopters for use by top leaders, including the President, Prime Minister and former PMs. The deal was cancelled on January 1, 2014 over the allegations of wrongdoing.

In his application moved on February 27, Saxena said he made a “clean breast of the entire facts as known” to him. He submitted that he “cooperated with the investigation during the entire period of remand before the Directorate of Enforcement.”

Saxena was brought from Dubai to India in January to face trial over allegations of bribing government officials involved in the AgustaWestland deal. He was granted bail on February 25 on health grounds. The court observed that Saxena was indeed “suffering from a number of serious ailments, including blood cancer”.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 23:16 IST

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