Augusta scam: CBI tracks Rs 67-cr kickbacks in Saxena's bank account

New Delhi (IANS) The CBI has tracked down Rs 67-crore kickbacks in an account operated by Rajeev Saxena, an accused in the money laundering case in the Augusta Westland chopper scam.

The agency in a petition in the Supreme Court objected to Saxena's plea to travel abroad for medical treatment, as it has uncovered crucial evidence leading to the kickbacks in the scam.

A source familiar with the investigation confirmed that the CBI has established the authenticity of signatures on a bank account, which was disputed by Saxena. 

This account, operated by Saxena, allegedly received about 12.4 million Euros equivalent to Rs 67 crore. The source also confirmed that the agency has apparently forensically corroborated the kickbacks.

"The applicant (CBI) states and submits that during the course of its investigation, the question of authenticity of signatures in a bank account was disputed by the respondent (Saxena) whereby approximately 12.4 million Euros equivalent Rs 67 crore were deposited and the account is operated by the respondent", said the CBI's petition in the top court.

The CBI informed the court it has recently received crucial evidence clearly implicating Saxena in the scam. The CBI and the Income Tax Department have issued the Look-out Circulars (LoC) for Saxena apprehending that he may flee the country to avoid investigation, said the CBI in the petition.

The Income Tax department is already investigating two separate cases against him. The department has informed the CBI about "serious violation" of the Black Money and Imposition of Tax Act, as well as, Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act having been made out against Saxena.

The CBI has urged the court under these circumstances, it should not allow Saxena to leave the country. 

The Delhi High Court had allowed Saxena to travel abroad for medical treatment. Saxena claims he is suffering from blood cancer and other ailments. The CBI informed the court that his medical condition was detected in 2013, and for the same he is receiving "the best possible medical treatment in India."

"The applicant (CBI) states and submits that the sudden need to leave the country is exhibited by the respondent (Saxena) at a stage where very crucial and vital evidence started being received/gathered both by the applicant as well as by the Income Tax Department ...that once permitted to leave the country, the respondent has all the reasons not to return", said the CBI in the petition objecting to Saxena's travel abroad.

The apex court on Wednesday stayed the Delhi High Court order which allowed Saxena to go abroad for medical treatment. 

A vacation bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B.R. Gavai asked AIIMS to set up a medical board for a thorough examination of Saxena. The court has also asked Saxena to respond to the fresh allegations leveled against him. 

The Enforcement Directorate had also contested the High Court order and informed the top court that Saxena has no roots in India and may not return if permitted to go abroad.

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