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Agustawestland Case: SC Stays HC Order On Saxena’s Approver Status

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Delhi High Court order, which dismissed the plea of the Enforcement Directorate to revoke businessman Rajiv Saxena’s status as approver in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said: “Issue notice. In the meantime, there shall be stay of operation of the impugned order.”

The top court has sought response from Saxena on the plea moved by the ED challenging the June 8 order of the High Court.

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, representing the ED, submitted that the High Court had committed an error by saying that pardon can be revoked, after Saxena deposes as witness. The bench said that there is a provision in the CrPC that if he fails to give any evidence, then the pardon can be withdrawn.

Saxena, a Dubai-based businessman, 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.

In the High Court, the ED had submitted that Saxena had undertaken to disclose all the facts related to the offence but he was not doing so. Therefore, Saxena’s approver status should be revoked, it had said.

The ED moved the High Court after the trial declined to entertain its plea to revoke Saxena’s approver status.

The High Court had observed that Saxena’s statement under section 306 (4) of CrPC, which provides recording of the statement of an accomplice who has been granted pardon, was not recorded, therefore the ED’s plea before the trial court for evoking the approver status was not maintainable. It noted that the ED can move the application for revoking Saxena’s approver status, after his statement is recorded under the concerned section.

(IANS)

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