CBI opposes Ravinder Rishi's plea to travel abroad
New Delhi: CBI on Wednesday opposed in a Delhi court a plea by Vectra company chief Ravinder Rishi -- an accused in a defence related corruption case -- seeking permission to go to the UK for medical and business purposes, apprehending that he may flee.
The agency filed its reply before Special Judge Talwant Singh opposing the plea by Rishi, a British national, on the grounds that he might destroy crucial evidence and not return to India to join the ongoing investigation.
57-year-old Rishi is facing a CBI probe in connection with the alleged irregularities in supply of Tatra all-terrain trucks to public sector Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).
Rishi, in his petition, also sought direction to the CBI to apprise the concerned authorities to suspend the lookout circular which was issued against him on March 31 this year.
CBI prosecutor V K Sharma opposed Rishi's plea seeking permission to go abroad for four weeks saying that the probe into the case is still going on and if Rishi is allowed to travel to the UK, there is likelihood that he may not return.
"This court may be pleased not to allow the prayer of the petitioner (Rishi) to leave the country for medical treatment or business purposes," the CBI said in its reply.
The court posted the matter for October 16 for further hearing on the plea.
Rishi had approached the court seeking its permission to travel abroad saying he has always co-operated with the CBI and had gone to its office whenever he was called by the agency.
He said that he is required to undergo medical treatment in the UK and also for business purposes.
In his plea, Rishi sought permission from the court "to travel abroad only for a period of four weeks on two grounds, the business requirements of the applicant and the medical condition of the applicant..."
"Grant permission to the applicant (Rishi) to travel to the United Kingdom for a period of 30 days and accordingly direct the CBI to inform the concerned authorities and the lookout circular dated March 31, 2012 may be suspended for the period of travel," he said.
He said that he had recently approached the Supreme Court challenging the look out circular and had sought permission to travel abroad but the court permitted him to withdraw his plea and granted liberty to him to approach the appropriate forum for relief.
The Vectra chief has been quizzed several times at the CBI headquarters here in connection with alleged irregularities in the Tatra truck deal as he has a substantial stake in Tatra Sipox UK.
The CBI has registered a case naming Rishi and unnamed officials of Defence Ministry, Army and BEML on March 30 for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The agency is probing alleged irregularities in assigning of supply from the then Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to Tatra-Sipox UK owned by Rishi in 1997 showing it as original equipment manufacturer and fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company.