Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi on December 23 issued summons to businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, in a money laundering case related to an alleged fertiliser scam.
Ratul Puri was also named an accused in a money laundering case related to the Agusta Westland VVIP chopper scam.
Earlier this year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted searches at 15 locations in three states and registered a case against 15 accused, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s brother, on the charge of causing a loss of Rs 52.8 crores to the government exchequer in an alleged fertiliser scam.
Special Judge Vikas Dhull, while taking cognizance of a supplementary charge sheet in the case, directed Puri to appear before the court on January 18.
The judge passed the order while noting the submissions made by the ED that, prima facie, there was enough evidence to prosecute Puri. Besides Puri, the judge also summoned Sangam Theatres Private Limited and Sanjay Jain, currently in judicial custody in the case.
According to the ED, the fertiliser scam case, also involving RJD Rajya Sabha member Amarendra Dhari Singh and IFFCO managing director and CEO US Awasthi, relates to illegal commissions worth over Rs 685 crores allegedly paid to the NRI sons of Awasthi and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL) managing director PS Gahlaut, and some others by overseas suppliers during 2007-14.
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO) is a multi-state farmers’ cooperative. At the same time, IPL is its company involved in supplying fertilisers for which the government provides subsidies to keep the rates affordable, the ED said.
It alleged that Awasthi and others in IFFCO generated proceeds of crime. It layered it through various unrelated entities, and part of that was transferred to the entities controlled by Awasthi and others.
During the hearing, the court also dismissed Jain’s plea seeking default bail in the case, saying that the ground was insufficient to grant him the relief.
“…accused Ratul Puri and accused company M/s Sangam Theatres Private Limited knowingly assisted in the activities of concealment of the proceeds of crime and by showing it to be untainted property… there is sufficient material on record to summon accused Sanjay Jain, Ratul Puri and M/s Sangam Theatres Private Limited as an accused …under the PMLA,” the court said.