A court on Saturday granted bail to two more accused in the case relating to the Rs 3,600 crore ($528 million) AgustaWestland helicopter deal.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed the bail pleas of Delhi-based Media Exim Pvt. Ltd’s Director R.K. Nanda and former Director J.B. Subramaniyam on furnishing personal bonds of Rs 1 lakh and sureties of the like amount each.
After considering a supplementary charge sheet in the case, the court had earlier said there were sufficient evidence against Nanda and Subramaniyam under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in June last year filed a fresh charge sheet against British national Christian Michel James, Media Exim, Nanda and Subramaniyam in its ongoing money laundering probe into the helicopter deal.
According to the ED, Media Exim is a shell company of James and allegedly incorporated for facilitating transactions of kickbacks paid to James by Finmeccanica, a group firm of AgustaWestland.
James allegedly received around Rs 225 crore as kickbacks from AgustaWestland for the deal inked for the purchase of 12 helicopters in the guise of transactions for performing multiple work contracts in the country.
The agency is said to have found that of the kickbacks received by James, Rs 6.33 crore was routed to India through his shell company Media Exim from his Dubai-based Global Services FZE.
“Nanda and Subramaniyam were appointed Directors of Media Exim Pvt. Ltd., who willingly and knowingly connived with James and helped him in acquiring immovable and movable properties or assets in Delhi, which have already been attached,” the ED had said.
ED and CBI had also notified an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) against James after a city court issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
Investigators said James is currently staying in Dubai.
Earlier the court had granted bail to other accused in the case, including former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and Delhi-based lawyer and businessman Gautam Khaitan.
The first charge sheet was filed in the case in November 2014 against Gautam Khaitan, his wife Ritu, Chandigarh-based firm Aeromatrix and Gerosa and Haschke.