"Can Your Relatives Stand As Sureties?":SC Asks Approver In Chopper Scam As ED Objects His Plea To Travel Abroad
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Rajeev Saxena, an approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, to place on record the names of relatives who would serve as his surety in connection with his plea to travel abroad on medical grounds.
The vacation bench headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the Enforcement Directorate's challenge to the Delhi High Court's June 10 order allowing Saxena to go abroad for treatment of blood cancer and other ailments for a month.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, attempted to dissuade the court against Saxena's request being granted- "He is an accused in connection with a huge scam. He is needed to be present for the trial to proceed...he is not even based in India. All the best medical facilities are also available here and will be provided to him..."
"Are you scared he won't come back? Does the government not have the power to get him to return?", asked the bench, adding that Saxena's abroad travel may be made contingent on other stricter conditions.
"The government has the power. Individuals have been made to come back previously also. And more are yet to be brought back", asserted the SG.
Senior Counsel Meenakshi Arora, for Saxena, advanced that his sister and sister-in-law shall be his sureties, depositing a sum of Rs. 5 crores each to guarantee his return.
The High Court had extended the relief to Saxena observing that he has been pardoned and made an approver in the case by the trial and already allowed bail on medical grounds.