The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Delhi High Court order that had declined Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea seeking the revocation of approver status granted to Rajiv Saxena in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde also issued notice to Rajiv Saxena on the plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate challenging the High Court order. It had challenged the June 8 order of the High Court dismissing its plea to revoke approver status of Rajiv Saxena in the case.
The High Court had upheld the trial court’s decision not to revoke Rajiv Saxena’s pardon as sought by the economic offences watchdog.
High Court had said the Enforcement Directorate’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 of the statement of an accomplice who has been granted a pardon.
The Enforcement Directorate had sought revocation of Rajiv Saxena’s approver status on the ground that he had undertaken to disclose all the facts related to the offence but he was not doing so.
The Dubai-based businessman, Rajiv Saxena was extradited to India on January 31, 2019, in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore scam case relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.
The Enforcement Directorate had said while seeking pardon, Rajiv Saxena had said he will make full disclosure of the facts within his knowledge and his statement was recorded in March last year after which he was granted a pardon. He was later allowed to be an approver subject to his making full disclosure.
Rajiv Saxena has very strategically withheld and not disclosed full and true facts, which were within his knowledge, relating to the commission of the offence, and has deliberately hidden and fabricated certain documents to shield the other co-accused, which was contrary to the terms of the grant of a pardon granted by the trial court, the Enforcement Directorate said.