The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday questioned businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath in connection with the Rs 3600 crore AgustaWestland scam.
As the Enforcement Directorate penetrates deeper into the AgustaWestland case, more and more skeletons seem to be falling out of the closet. After a few startling revelations made by Michel about one ‘Mrs Gandhi’, ‘Italian Lady’s son, R’ and the inside information he could gather from sources like the PMO and the investigative agencies, the ED tracked down the money trail of kickbacks received by Christian Michel and it has led them to Moser Baer which is owned by Deepak Puri, who is senior Congress leader Kamal Nath’s brother-in-law.
In fact, in his 2014 election affidavit, Kamal Nath had declared that he too held 6450 shares in Moser Baer of Rs 10 market value each.
Moreover, in 2017, Moser Baer had shut its plan and laid off over 2000 employees, allegedly, without clearing their dues. A portal called ‘Ten News’ had spoken to the staff of the plan who had directly named Puri and Kamal Nath. One had alleged that Kamal Nath, during UPA 1 had favoured Deepak Puri and the company now going under is the result of that.
In fact, Moser Baer Solar Limited had incurred a huge debt most of it while Kamal Nath was the commerce minister.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the name of Ratul Puri, chairman of the board of directors of Hindustan Powerprojects, cropped up during the questioning of Rajiv Saxena, who has turned approver in the case. Saxena was arrested by ED after being deported from Dubai.
“I am cooperating with the investigation and will continue to cooperate. I have no connection with defence (deals) and no business dealings with my relatives, I run an independent business. I will cooperate fully with ED and any other government authority that seeks any information from me or asks me for any clarifications. I have no connection with AgustaWestland or defence,” Ratul Puri said.
Michel was extradited to India on 4 December from United Arab Emirates (UAE). Recently it was also unearthed that, Christian Michel’s involvement was not only restricted to AgustaWestland scam. He had also lobbied against France-based Rafale in order to enable Eurofighter, its rival, to grab the MMRCA deal. On 5th January, the Patiala House Court had extended Michel’s judicial custody till February 26.