Chopper scam: HC dismisses ED plea to revoke approver status, bail of Rajiv Saxena

New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) plea to revoke approver status and cancel the bail granted to Rajiv Saxena in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

Justice C Hari Shankar, who pronounced the verdict via video conferencing, also asked the ED to go back to the trial court to seek the relief.

The detailed judgement of the court is awaited.

ED had sought revocation of Saxena's approver status on the ground that he had undertaken to disclose all the facts related to the offence but he was not doing so.

The probe agency had challenged the trial court's order which had refused to cancel his bail and revoke his approver status.

The Dubai-based businessman, Saxena was extradited to India on January 31 last year in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore scam case relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.

ED, in its plea before the trial court, had said that while seeking pardon, Saxena had said he will make full disclosure of the facts within his knowledge and his statement was recorded in March last year after which he was granted pardon.

He was allowed to be an approver by the trial court subject to his making full and true disclosure of the whole of circumstances within his knowledge relating to the offence.

The ED had contended that Saxena has very strategically withheld and not disclosed full and true facts which were within his knowledge, relating to the commission of the offence, and has deliberately hidden and fabricated certain documents to shield the other co-accused, which was contrary to the terms of the grant of pardon granted by the court.

The trial court, in its order refusing to cancel his bail and approver status, had said that failure of accused to comply with the conditions on which the pardon was tendered, makes him liable to be tried.

However, Saxena was yet to enter into the witness box to depose before the court and as on date, his status was of a witness and he has ceased to be an accused. Therefore, there was no question of cancellation of his bail, the court had said.

It had also refused to revoke Saxena's approver status in the money laundering case, saying the ED's plea was pre mature and the agency may move an appropriate application for revocation of pardon granted to him, if so needed, at appropriate stage. PTI HMP SKV SA