The Delhi High Court, on Friday, denied bail to Mrs. Shivani Saxena, the woman director of two Dubai-based firms, arrested in connection with a money laundering case arising out of the Rs. 3,600 crore VVIP chopper scam.
“The offence alleged against the petitioner falls under the category of economic offences which stand on a graver footing. These crimes are professionally committed by white-collared people which inflict severe injuries on both health and wealth of the nation. Such offences need to be dealt with a heavy hand and releasing such accused on bail will affect the community at large and also jeopardize the economy of the country,” Justice A.K. Pathak observed.
Evidence collected by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had revealed that the UK-based AgustaWestland International Ltd. had paid 58 million euro as kickbacks through Tunisia-based Gordian Services Sarl and IDS Sarl. These companies siphoned off the money in the name of consultancy contracts to Interstellar Technologies Ltd and others, and these funds were further transferred to UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings Ltd. and others.
Mrs. Saxena is a director of M/S UHY Saxena and M/S Matrix Holdings, both located in Dubai. The ED had arrested her on July 17 from Chennai under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). She is currently in judicial custody.
The ED has alleged that the two firms and Mrs. Saxena were the ones through whom "the proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties/shares among others”.
Mrs. Saxena had now sought bail in view of her age and health. The State, on the other hand, opposed the application, contending that she should not be treated differently merely because of the reason of her being a woman. It further submitted that Mrs. Saxena only needed physiotherapy, which was being provided to her in jail.
The Court agreed with these contentions and noted, “There is nothing on record to establish that petitioner is suffering from such serious ailments which necessitates her treatment in multi specialty hospital from specialist doctor. Petitioner can be and is being provided medical treatment in jail itself. Petitioner only requires physiotherapy which can easily be provided either in jail or in any other hospital affiliated to the jail or in the vicinity of the jail.”
Thereafter, observing that Mrs. Saxena had failed to bring out any special circumstances for her release, Justice Pathak rejected her bail application.