AgustaWestland case: Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri appears before ED

New Delhi: Businessman Ratul Puri, nephew of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, on Thursday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal case.

ED had told a Delhi court on Wednesday that it has called Puri to join the investigation in the money laundering case.

“I am cooperating with the investigation and will continue to cooperate. I have no connection with defense (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 defense,” Puri told reporters after reaching the ED office here.

Puri is the chairman of the board of directors of Hindustan Powerprojects. His name reportedly cropped up during ED’s questioning of AgustaWestland case middleman Rajeev Saxena who has turned an approver in the case.

Saxena was earlier deported from Dubai and arrested by ED.

In December last year, businessman Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the deal, was extradited to India from Dubai. He is at present lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.

The deal with Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers was scrapped by India on January 1, 2014, over the alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of payment of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore for securing the deal.