Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Aviation scam: SC issues notice to Aditya Talwar, stays proceedings in HC

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Aditya Talwar, son of Deepak Talwar, who is named in the multi-crore civil aviation scam in which Air India allegedly suffered huge losses, and stayed proceedings in the Delhi High Court, which allowed him to be represented through a lawyer.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi agreed with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), that the matter is urgent. The court listed the case for arguments and final disposal on July 23.
Mr. Mehta said Aditya was a crucial link in unravelling the scam. The High Court's order on May 31 exempting him from personal appearance before the Special Judge and allowing a lawyer to represent him instead would further retard the progress in the investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED petition said, “The May 31 order permits the Respondent [Aditya] to further evade the process of law and not submit to the Indian jurisdiction when his present whereabouts are not known, which scenario will have a significant impact on various other cases, in today’s position of various economic offenders having evaded the process of law.”
The ED said the trial court had initially issued non-bailable warrant against Aditya, believed to have acquired Antiguan citizenship but whose exact whereabouts remained unknown. The warrants were cancelled only after a lawyer finally started representing him in the case. Subsequently, the PMLA court passed an order directing him to appear in person to respond to an application filed by the ED to declare him a Fugitive Economic Offender.
Mr. Mehta said any leniency shown now would delay the case's progress. This would be a violation of the apex court's own order of January 5, 2017 to probe the case at the earliest.
08/07/19 The Hindu
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