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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Delhi court allows VVIP chopper scam accused Rajiv Saxena to turn approver, assist prosecutors

Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed Saxena’s plea seeking pardon after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) supported his application.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2019 00:36 IST
Namita Singh
Namita Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A Delhi court on Monday allowed Dubai-based businessman and alleged middleman Rajiv Saxena to become an approver in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.  (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
A Delhi court on Monday allowed Dubai-based businessman and alleged middleman Rajiv Saxena to become an approver in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
         

A Delhi court on Monday allowed Rajiv Saxena, who was arrested for his role in the AgustaWestland VVIP choppers scam, to turn an approver.

This comes over a week after the enforcement directorate (ED) “vehemently” supported his application, in which he said he will make disclosures if he was granted a pardon, so as to make him a witness in the scam.

The probe agency told the court that Saxena had helped in the investigation by providing “crucial documents/evidence/facts” that were necessary to unravel the truth.

The enforcement directorate had informed the court that Saxena was connected and privy to the offence of money laundering in the case and had disclosed the facts and the role of the different persons in the case.

Last month, Saxena had moved an application offering to make a “true and proper disclosure” if he was granted “pardon”.

He recorded his statement in the chamber of additional chief metropolitan magistrate, Samar Vishal, which reportedly runs into 23 pages.

The statement is a permissible evidence before the court during trial.

When a person turns an approver in the case where they are an accused, charges against them are dropped and they can be pardoned subject to their cooperation with prosecutors, said Saxena’s counsel, Shivani L Lohia.

The enforcement directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation are probing allegations 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 Prime Ministers. The deal was cancelled on January 1, 2014 over the allegations of wrongdoing.

Saxena who was brought from United Arab Emirates in January, was granted bail on health grounds. He was arrested upon his arrival in the country.

The court, in its earlier bail order, had then observed that Saxena was “suffering from a number of serious ailments, including blood cancer”.

First Published: Mar 25, 2019 17:20 IST

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