VVIP chopper case: ED denies allegation of torture after Friday court drama
The Enforcement Directorate has rejected the allegations-- of torturing a witness to extract a statement implicating Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri in the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper scam—as “sensational” and “frivolous”.
The ED told the court that it is a false and frivolous application that has been moved to malign the ED and create a wrong perception against it. The agency further said that they have a reasonable apprehension that it has been moved on behalf of Ratul Puri.
ED’s Saturday statement was a riposte to the courtroom drama witnessed a day earlier, on Friday, when a man, identifying himself as Mahipal Singh, walked into the court of special judge Arvind Kumar, who was then hearing Ratul Puri’s anticipatory bail plea and claimed that he had been forced by the ED to record a statement framing Puri.
The surprise visitor Mahipal Singh also sought retraction of his “forced” statement and requested a court monitored investigation to “save innocent people from ED’s atrocities.”
Singh alleged that the ED dictated a statement to him on July 23 and “harassed and tortured” him on July 24 before making him sign the statement on July 25. Singh also told the court that he had also moved the National Human Rights Commission over the issue.
The ED clarified that it had recorded Mahipal Singh’s statement over his association with Ratul Puri’s company and his family and his growth to get information on the modus operandi of cash transactions and to get names of individuals who could be important to investigations.
The ED said they had sought details of another VVIP chopper case witness KK Khosla from Singh. Khosla, the agency claims, has been missing for the last four months and it didn’t know if he was alive or absconding.
ED asked the court to treat Mahipal Singh’s application independently of the anticipatory bail plea by Ratul Puri. The court has extended Puri’s interim protection from arrest till August 6 and listed the matter for September 18.
Puri’s company Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt Ltd had released a statement earlier on Friday rejecting allegations that Puri had tampered with the evidence or played any role in the VVIP Chopper scam.
Calling it a political vendetta, Puri’s counsel, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi had earlier said that the agency cannot arrest Ratul Puri only because he was related to someone in Madhya Pradesh.
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