Bank fraud: Deepak Puri can be treated in India, not required to go abroad, CBI to HC

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New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) The CBI Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that there was no emergent medical condition requiring businessman Deepak Puri, booked in a bank fraud case along with his son Ratul Puri, to travel to the US for treatment of his mouth cancer.

The CBI in August 2019 had lodged an FIR against Ratul Puri, his father Deepak Puri, mother Nita and others in connection with a Rs 354 crore bank fraud case filed by the Central Bank of India against their company Moser Baer and its directors.

The bank had claimed that Moser Baer and its directors, which included Ratul Puri, allegedly forged and fabricated documents to induce the Central Bank of India to release funds.

The agency on Wednesday cited the report of an Indian doctor who stated that Deepak Puri can be examined at hospitals here also and he can get the required treatment in India.

However, his counsel submitted that he is required to go to the USA for further check up as he had earlier received treatment from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre there.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, after hearing the arguments of the counsel for CBI and businessman, reserved the order on plea by CBI challenging a trial court’s December 23, 2020 order allowing 80-year-old Deepak Puri and his wife to travel to the USA for two months.

“I have heard you. I will pass the orders,” the judge said.

During the hearing, CBI counsel Anupam Sharma said according to an Indian doctor there is no emergent medical condition requiring him to go to the USA as he can get the treatment in India also.

He claimed that Deepak Puri was playing fraud with the court and contended that even Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and others had roots in the society but they left the country and never came back.

CBI said that Deepak Puri might not return to India and he might move the money he allegedly got in connection with the bank fraud.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, representing him, said these issues were argued by the CBI counsel earlier also and he had gone abroad for the cancer treatment and follow ups for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2019 and returned each time and he will also come back this time too.

Regarding joining investigation, Aggarwal said the businessman is 80 years old and he cannot go to the CBI office and the officials had come to his house to examine him and he fully cooperated with them.

In pursuance to the high court’s directions, the accused had earlier submitted medical documents in support of his claim that he has to travel to the US for treatment of his mouth cancer.

Initially, he had shown a September 24, 2020, letter from a doctor at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre stating that he had received treatment there and needs further check up.

The court had said that he had not shown any documents or correspondence dated after September 24, 2020, which showed that he needed further medication or consultation or that he was having any medical problems.

The trial court had on December 23, 2020 granted permission to Deepak Puri and his wife to travel overseas.

However, the CBI challenged the order in the high court which had on December 29, 2020, stayed the trial court’s decision.

Deepak Puri’s counsel had said his client was not named as an accused in any of the CBI or money laundering cases against him. PTI SKV SKV RKS RKS