Gautam Khaitan gets bail from Delhi High Court in Embraer bribery case

The Delhi High Court Friday granted bail to lawyer Gautam Khaitan who was arrested by the CBI last month in connection with a six-year-old case related to the alleged commission of USD 5.76 million paid by the Brazilian company Embrarer to swing three EMB-145 aircraft deal with DRDO.Justice Jasmeet Singh rejected the contentions of the CBI that the probe is at the nascent stage and the role of Khaitan has been indicated in the communication received from Embrarer, Brazil.In the present case, the case is of the year 2016.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 16-09-2022 19:50 IST | Created: 16-09-2022 19:50 IST
Gautam Khaitan gets bail from Delhi High Court in Embraer bribery case
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The Delhi High Court Friday granted bail to lawyer Gautam Khaitan who was arrested by the CBI last month in connection with a six-year-old case related to the alleged commission of USD 5.76 million paid by the Brazilian company Embrarer to swing three EMB-145 aircraft deal with DRDO.

Justice Jasmeet Singh rejected the contentions of the CBI that the probe is at the nascent stage and the role of Khaitan has been indicated in the communication received from Embrarer, Brazil.

''In the present case, the case is of the year 2016. Almost more than six years have elapsed and it cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be held that the investigation is at a nascent stage. Six years is a long period of time,'' the court said while granting bail to the accused on a personal bond of Rs 25,000.

He said the magnitude of the amount involved cannot be a consideration to deny the right of liberty to an individual.

''In the present case, the applicant has not been named in the FIR. The allegations against the applicant (Khaitan) are only based on the statement of various witnesses and official communications,'' the court said.

The court said the CBI ''should have and could have'' verified the same and in case the same were found substantial, the charge sheet should have been filed. Senior Counsel PV Kapur appearing for Khaitan had argued that the allegations are against the public servants, who have neither been named nor even identified.

The counsel stated Khaitan has appeared before the agency on numerous occasions and continues to join the investigation as and when required.

The CBI had arrested Khaitan who was also charge-sheeted in the Agusta Westland VVIP Chopper purchase case on August 25. He was subsequently sent to judicial custody after four days of interrogation, they said.

The agency had booked UK-based arms dealer Vipin Khanna (now deceased) and two companies -- Brazil-based Embraer and Singapore-based Interdev Pte Ltd -- in connection with the alleged corruption in the deal for the aircraft which were fitted with Airborne Warning and Control System that was inked on July 3, 2008.

It is alleged that the kickbacks were allegedly routed from subsidiaries of Embraer to Khanna through Interdev to be used for influencing officials in the Defence Ministry and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in September 2016 after the report in a Brazilian newspaper alleged that Embraer had used the services of middlemen to clinch deals in Saudi Arabia and India.

According to the defence procurement rules of India, middlemen are strictly barred in such deals.

The CBI preliminary enquiry had found that due to alleged mediation by Khanna, DRDO officials moved a proposal for the purchase of aircraft from Embraer on a single vendor basis after which the enquiry was converted into an FIR in October 2016.

''It was also alleged that in lieu of facilitating the agreement/deal between Brazil-based firm and DRDO (India), the firm paid an amount of USD 5.76 million (approx) to the said middleman (Khanna) through Singapore-based company during the year 2009,'' the CBI spokesperson had said after filing of the FIR.PTI ABS ABS RKS RKS

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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