VVIP chopper scam: Court sends Ratul Puri to 6-day ED custody

New Delhi: A Delhi court Thursday sent Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, to 6-day ED custody in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam. Special Judge Arvind Kumar remanded Puri to ED's custody till September 11, noting that the probe agency has sought his custodial interrogation to "unearth the source and end use of tainted money".

The court also noted that the Enforcement Directorate sought Puri's custody to confront him with "voluminous documents collected" by it and to find out the roles of the co-accused. The judge also noted that the agency sought Puri's custody to find out the money trail.

"Thus keeping in view the facts and circumstances, I deem it fit to grant 6 days ED custody remand of Ratul Puri. Accordingly, the accused is remanded to ED custody for 6 days. The accused be produced on September 11," the judge said in the order. The court also directed the agency to get Puri medically examined and to allow him to take his medicines, after consultation of the doctor medically examining him.

It allowed Puri to get assistance from his advocate during the custodial interrogation. "The ED will permit any two of his counsel to assist the accused between 9.30 am to 10.00 am and from 5.30 pm to 6 pm on each day," the court said.

Puri can meet his counsel in private for 15 minutes in the morning and for 15 minutes in the evening; however, the ED official will remain present, within visible distance but not hearing distance, the court said. It also allowed Puri to take with him his bedding inside the lockup.

The counsel for the agency contended in court that he was using the guise of shell companies in the name of others, accumulated proceeds of crime, which have been parked and later laundered to reach the desired beneficiaries including him.

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