Chopper deal: Khaitan claims innocence, seeks release from jail

Businessman Gautam Khaitan, who has been arrested in connection with a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal, Tuesday claimed in the Delhi High Court that he is innocent and was a soft target in this whole exercise.

PTI| Updated: Nov 18, 2014, 19:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Businessman Gautam Khaitan, who has been arrested in connection with a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal, Tuesday claimed in the Delhi High Court that he is innocent and was a soft target in this whole exercise.

Khaitan, who is in judicial custody, moved his bail plea before Justice V P Vaish after a trial court had on October 20 rejected the relief saying the investigation in the case is at a "crucial stage".

Senior advocates P V Kapur and Sidharth Luthra, defending Khaitan, sought bail contending that their client was a "soft target" and influential persons, who were also accused in the case, had not yet been arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The counsel also argued that Khaitan, who is an advocate by profession, is in custody since September 23 and it's been over 54 days since he is behind the bars.

They contended ED has named 21 entities in the case but till date only Khaitan has been arrested.

"Till date, only one (Khaitan) has been arrested and two others have been interrogated but not arrested," the counsel said, adding former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi and his brothers have also been named in the case but they are still to be arrested.

The counsel also said that Khaitan has deep roots in the society and is into a family business which is running for the last 100 years, so there is no chance of his fleeing from justice and tampering with evidence in the case.

"Let them (ED and Centre) give one single reason to keep me in jail. I am made victim in this whole exercise. If they have material evidence against me, they might have something incriminating against Tyagi and his family members to point out their involvement also," the lawyer argued.