AgustaWestland case: HC asks authorities to return accused-turned-approver Rajiv Saxena's passport

Updated: Oct 16,2020 14:18 GMT

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) : The Delhi High Court has directed the concerned authorities to return the passport of Rajiv Saxena, accused-turned-approver in Agusta Westland Case, whose passport was impounded in view of the seriousness of the charges and the likelihood of him fleeing from the process of law and to a third country.

A single-judge bench of the high court presided over by Justice Navin Chawla stated that any observation made in this order shall not prejudice the respondents from proceeding further with the proceedings under Section 10 of the Act, in accordance with the law, as the same are not subject matter of the present petition.

Saxena had challenged the order dated 25.01.2019 issued by the respondent authority, suspending his passport.

He had also challenged the order dated 01.05.2019 extending the period of suspension of the passport of the Rajiv Saxena till the proceedings relating to variation, impounding or revocation of the passport under Section 10 of the Act are concluded.

During the course of hearing, Advocate R.K. Handoo and Advocate Rajat Manchanda, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the Impugned Orders are liable to be set aside as they do not give any reason for exercise of powers under Section 10A of the Act nor follow the procedure of granting a hearing to the petitioner.

Opposing the said submissions, counsels for the central government and CBI's Advocate Ajay Digpaul and Advocate D.P. Singh asserted that the action to suspend the passport of the petitioner was taken, keeping in view the urgent need for deportation of the petitioner from UAE with whom India has an extradition agreement.

The counsels told the court that it was apprehended that the petitioner may flee to a country from where it would have been difficult for him to be extradited, ultimately hampering the investigation.

The period of suspension of the passport was extended by the order dated 01.05.2019 owing to continuing investigations and the need for the petitioner to be present for interrogation.


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