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Court to consider Gautam Khaitan, Italians & Ors charge-sheet on Friday

A Delhi court yesterday fixed 28 November for considering the charge-sheet filed against OP Khaitan & Co managing partner Gautam Khaitan and others, including two Italians, in connection with its money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland VIP chopper deal.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge V K Gupta listed the matter for considering the charge-sheet for Friday.

The 80-page charge-sheet was filed in the case last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), naming Khaitan, his wife Ritu, Chandigarh-based firm Aeromatrix and two Italian middlemen, Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, as accused in the case.

The agency has booked them for the offences under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Khaitan is presently lodged in Tihar Jail in judicial custody till Nov 28.

On the board of Aeromatrix, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate a day after the agency conducted a search of his premises Sep 22.

The supply of 12 helicopters from British firm AgustaWestland came under scrutiny after Italian authorities alleged that the company paid a bribe to clinch the deal with India, inked in February 2010.

India on 1 January terminated the Rs 3,600 crore (about $770 million) deal for the purchase of the choppers following allegations of kickbacks having been paid to fix the deal.

India had paid around 45 percent of the total contract value for the choppers meant to ferry the president, the prime minister and other VIPs.

The Enforcement Directorate registered a case in this deal in July 2013 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and booked former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, and foreign nationals Gerosa, Christian Michel and Haschke in its criminal complaint.

Companies like AgustaWestland, its parent company Italy-based Finmeccanica, Chandigarh-based IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix as well as two companies based in Mauritius and Tunisia, and a few other firms and unidentified people were also named.

The Enforcement Directorate named 21 entities in the case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation lodged a separate case in March 2013 against Tyagi and others in connection with the kickback allegations.

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