The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had taken Yasmin Kapoor into custody on October 3 after she was produced before the court.
A Delhi court Wednesday extended by nine days the custodial interrogation of a close aide of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar by the ED in a money-laundering case related to negotiations that allegedly favoured foreign private airlines and caused loss to state-owned Air India.
Kapoor was produced before Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj on the expiry of her 6-day ED custody and advocate Nitesh Rana, ED’s special public prosecutor, told the court that she was required to be quizzed further to unearth a larger conspiracy. The probe agency told the court that Kapoor was to be confronted with the documents and other co-accused in the case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had taken Yasmin Kapoor into custody on October 3 after she was produced before the court. She was lodged in Tihar jail in another case being probed by the CBI. The court had last month cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to Kapoor in the money-laundering case after Rana submitted that she was misusing the bail.
Kapoor was granted anticipatory bail by the court on March 22, while Talwar was in judicial custody in the case lodged by the ED. There were reasons to believe that the tainted money, received from the foreign airlines, was used for the acquisition of Kapoor’s residential property in New Delhi, Rana said.
The ED claimed that several companies, in which Kapoor was a shareholder along with Talwar, received the proceeds of the crime. It said the agency’s probe was still underway. Kapoor had sought anticipatory bail claiming that the ED threatened her to take names and also to convince Talwar to give names of government officials or political functionaries, failing which she would be arrested. Talwar was deported from the UAE in connection with the money-laundering case.
The ED had earlier said it needed to interrogate Talwar to get the names of Ministry of Civil Aviation, National Aviation Company of India Ltd and Air India officials, who had favoured the foreign airlines, including Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia.
The agency had claimed that entities directly or indirectly controlled by the accused received exorbitant amounts from Qatar Airways, Emirates and Air Arabia and submitted a chart of a total of USD 60.54 million allegedly received by firms directly or indirectly owned by Talwar between April 23, 2008 and February 6, 2009.
Talwar’s alleged role in some aviation deals during the previous Congress-led UPA regime at the Centre was also under the scanner. He was booked by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in criminal cases of corruption, while the Income-Tax department charged him with tax evasion.
Kapoor is currently in the custody in a case of alleged violation of foreign exchange rules by Talwar’s NGO, Advantage India. The case relates to alleged misappropriation of Rs 90 crore received by Advantage India through foreign funding.