The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea to revoke approver status of Rajiv Saxena in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
The Dubai-based businessman, Saxena was extradited to India on January 31 last year in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore scam case relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.
ED had sought revocation of Saxena’s approver status on the ground that he had undertaken to disclose all the facts related to the offense but he was not doing so. The probe agency had challenged the trial court’s order which had refused to revoke Saxena’s approved status.
The trial court, in its order refusing to revoke his approver status, had said that failure of the accused to comply with the conditions on which the pardon was tendered, makes him liable to be tried.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar pronounced the verdict via video conferencing and upheld the trial court’s decision not to revoke Saxena’s pardon as sought by the ED and held that the ED’s plea before the trial court for revoking the approver status was not maintainable as his statement under section 306 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) had not been recorded.
Section 306 (4) of CrPC provides for recording the statement of an accomplice who has been granted a pardon.
The high court further said that the public prosecutor issuing a certificate, under section 308 CrPC, stating that the approver has given false evidence or wilfully concealed material has to be preceded by a recording of the statement.
The high court said, “the certificate of the public prosecutor in the present case was based entirely on alleged non-cooperation by Saxena during the investigation and it does not conform to the provisions of sections 306 and 308 of CrPC.” Therefore, it cannot legitimately constitute the sole basis for seeking revocation of the pardon given to Saxena.To Read the full text of the Judgment CLICK HERE