Delhi court seeks ED's reply on plea of Bush Foods's ex-MD for cancellation of NBW

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) A Delhi court Friday sought reply of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on an application moved by Virkaran Awasty, former Managing Director of Indian company Bush Foods Overseas Pvt Ltd (BFOPL), seeking cancellation of non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him in a Rs 750-crore worth money laundering case.

Additional Sessions Judge Bhupesh Kumar issued notice to the probe agency on the application and put up the matter for further hearing on February 16.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi police had registered an FIR in 2014 on the basis of a complaint by Hassad Netherlands BV, wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar based company Hassad Foods Company, against BFOPL its directors, alleging that the Indian company had fudged accounts and indulged in fictitious sales amounting to Rs 1,000 crore.

Based on the FIR of the EOW of the Delhi Police, the ED had lodged a money laundering case against them in 2019.

The court had on January 6 issued NBW against Virkaran and his wife after they failed to appear before it despite issuance of summons and bailable warrants issued against them.

Both the accused are currently residing in London.

The application moved by Virkaran claimed that the summons and bailable warrants were served upon incorrect WhatsApp number and residential address and hence he did not know about it.

The application, moved through advocate Kinnori Ghosh, further said the accused came to know about the issuance of NBWs through print media and thereafter he appeared before the court through his counsel.

It claimed that Virkaran was not summoned or called by the probe agency to assist in the investigation and was unaware about the registration of the ED's complaint.

It alleged that the NBWs have been issued wrongly and the Investigating Officer took no steps to serve the summons and warrants on the correct email address of the accused.

“There is no requirement of custodial interrogation in the case. The entire case relies on documentary evidence,” the application stated.

It said since Virkaran was currently residing in UK and bound by the UK laws and regulation, it was not possible for him to travel and appear before the court here due to the outbreak of the new strain of COVID-19 and national lockdown in UK.

It, however, said that he was undertaking to appear before the court through video conferencing for the time being.

A separate cheating case has also been filed against Hassad Foods by BFOPL for allegedly misappropriating stock of the Indian company involved in export of basmati rice, which it acquired in 2013. PTI URD RKS RKS