A Delhi court has dismissed the application seeking cancellation of non-bailable warrants issued against former Managing Director of realty major Emaar MGF, Shravan Gupta, in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper money laundering case, asserting that it is without any merits.
According to the Enforcement Directorate, the money laundered in the VVIP chopper case was routed through shell companies controlled by Gupta. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him in August for not joining the investigation despite summons.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar dismissed his application seeking cancellation of the NBW on December 5 and remarked that the applicant tried to evade the investigation on one pretext or the other and did not join the investigation despite the receipt of summons.
“The applicant did not express intention to appear before the ED to join the investigation. He also did not appear before this court when the application was taken up for hearing. It only shows that the applicant is not willing to cooperate in the investigation,” the court stated, adding that the application is without any merit and liable to be dismissed.
The businessman, who is residing in England, in his submission to the court on September 24 said that he has diabetes, high cholesterol and impaired breathing as the reasons for his inability to return to India. He also cited the Covid-19 pandemic situation making him unfit to travel.
The case pertains to the buying of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters from the Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore for ferrying VVIPs. In the deal, bribes were allegedly paid to middlemen and others. The purchase was cleared in 2010 by the then UPA government.
According to the ED, a part of the kickbacks allegedly paid to influential people and politicians was parked in a company related to Gupta, and that the money was meant to swing the contract in favour of AgustaWestland. The kickbacks were then allegedly routed through Rajiv Gupta-owned Mauritius-based company Interstellar Technologies. Rajiv Gupta later turned approver in the case.