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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

VVIP chopper case: Top court attacks Khaitan’s lawyer for delaying response

Taking exception to the demand to adjourn the case, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said: “You are trying to avoid the bench.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 01:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the Agusta Westland case Outside CBI office
Lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the Agusta Westland case Outside CBI office(Arun Sharma / Hindustan Times File)
         

Supreme Court on Wednesday criticised the advocate for Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the AgustaWestland case, for seeking time to file a response to the government’s petition on the applicability of the black money law with retrospective effect.

Taking exception to the demand to adjourn the case, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said: “You are trying to avoid the bench. This conduct is deprecating.” “Justice can’t be purchased like this. Looks like you want to avoid this bench. We are averse to such a practice. It won’t work in this court”, Justice Mishra added.

Khaitan’s lawyer P V Kapur said he needed “four weeks time to file a response to the Centre’s petition challenging the Delhi high court order” which held that the Black Money law cannot be applied retrospectively.

Justice Mishra was not convinced with the argument. “You people are lawyers and you are supposed to protect the law. The matter is scheduled for final hearing next week on Wednesday.”

Khaitan is an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case and he was booked under the Black Money Act by the income tax department and Enforcement Directorate. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers from Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary, AgustaWestland. The deal Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland was scrapped in 2014 over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks for securing the deal.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 01:41 IST