A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to Ratul Puri, nephew of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in a money laundering case linked to an alleged fertiliser scam for which Rs 685 crore was claimed to have been paid as kickback.
Special Judge Vikas Dhull granted the relief to Mr Puri after he appeared before the court pursuant to summons issued against him.
The court had issued summons against Mr Puri on December 23 while taking cognizance of a supplementary charge sheet in the case.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the judge noted that Mr Puri was not arrested during the investigation and said no purpose will be served by sending him to custody at this stage.
Mr Puri’s bail plea was opposed by ED’s Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana, who claimed if granted the relief, the accused may flee from justice. Mr Rana said Mr Puri may also influence the witnesses and tamper evidence.
While issuing the summons to Mr Puri, the judge had said prima facie there was enough evidence to prosecute him.
Mr Puri is also an accused in cases related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam and Moser Baer scam. He is currently out on bail.
According to the ED, the fertiliser scam case, which also involves RJD Rajya Sabha MP Amarendra Dhari Singh and IFFCO Managing Director and CEO U S Awasthi, relates to illegal commissions worth over Rs 685 crore allegedly paid to the NRI sons of Awasthi and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) Managing Director P S Gahlaut, and some others by overseas suppliers during 2007-14.
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO) is a multi-state farmers’ cooperative, while IPL is its company involved in supplying fertilisers for which the government provides subsidies to keep the rates affordable, the ED said.
It alleged Mr Awasthi and others in IFFCO generated proceeds of crime and layered it through various unrelated entities, and part of that was transferred to the entities controlled by Mr Awasthi and others.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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