Embraer Aircraft deal: Delhi HC notice to Singapore bizman on ED plea challenging denial of his remand
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Dev Inder Bhalla, a Singapore-based businessman on the Enforcement Directorate plea challenging the trial Court order which denied remand for the accused.
ED has moved Delhi High Court challenging Rouse Avenue Court order stating that the arrest of the accused Dev Inder Bhalla, a Singapore-based businessman is not legal and granted interim bail in connection with a Money laundering case linked to a UPA-era defence deal with aircraft manufacturer Embraer. The Bench of Justice Amit Sharma on Tuesday issued notice to ED plea and listed the matter for April 28, 2023.
Counsel for Bhalla submitted that "even I stand before this hon'ble court my client has gone for interrogation before the ED." Counsel for Bhalla submitted that the petition of ED is not maintainable as Remand Orders are not appealable.
To which the court replied alright we will not pass any interim orders.
The accused Dev Inder Bhalla was represented by Advocates Aditya Singh Deshwal and Advocate Ridam Arora
The matter pertains to the supply of 3 EMP -145 aircraft to the Government of India under DRDO. Allegations against Dev Inder Bhalla were that he made shell companies to launder money received as commission in the deal of aircraft.
Bhalla was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport Kolkata on February 13, 2023.
Special Judge Anil Antil at Rouse Avenue on February 16 stated that the agency was not legally empowered to arrest the accused without the indulgence of the Court, nor is it empowered now legally to seek his custody remand at this stage the case, knowing fully well the fact that the accused has been summoned by the Court on their own complaint and request after taking cognizance.
The agency cannot act in a camouflaged manner to arrest the accused herein. At one hand they are carrying summons to execute them for his appearance and at the same time they are also taking aid of the NBWs to justify their arrest, said the trial court.
The Trial Court further said that the arrest and the custody remand of the accused is not justified in the given facts of the case. The application seeking custody remand is not maintainable and is hereby dismissed. The accused is entitled to be released forthwith.
According to the ED on the basis of a complaint, an ECIR was filed against the 11
accused persons including accused Dev Inder Bhalla, Director of M/s Interdev Aviation Services Pvt Ltd, Singapore under Section 44 of PMLA, 2002 for the commission of offence u/s 3/70 & punishable u/s 4 of PMLA, 2002.
It was alleged that reference was received by CBI with regard to the allegations that M/s Embraer is being investigated by US and Brazil authorities regarding the alleged employment of an agent for facilitating the contract for the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) Project with CABS/DRDO for procurement of 3 fully modified EMB-145 aircraft.
During inquiries, it was revealed that M/s Embraer, Brazil had engaged a middleman i.e. Vipin Khanna ( now deceased) NRI based in the United Kingdom to secure the contract for supplying EMB-145 aircraft to Indian Government as a platform for (AEW&C) Project.
It was revealed that M/s Embraer, Brazil an Aircraft Manufacturing Company had procured a contract for the supply of 3 EMP-145 Air Crafts to the Government of India under the agencies of the Defence Research & Development Organization; the Air Craft were to be used for the installation of AEW&S and a deal of USD 210 Million was signed on 03.07.2008 between the two parties that information regarding the payment of bribe for procurement of this deal to some official of the Defence Ministry through a middleman erupted in the public domain and the Indian government took note of it and ordered an inquiry following which CBI registered an aforesaid FIR.
The accused Dev Inder Bhalla, Director of M/s Interdev Aviation Services Pvt Ltd, placed in Singapore is also an accused in a money laundering case in M/s AgustaWestland. (ANI)