Khaitan was produced before special CBI judge V K Gupta after expiry of his judicial custody and the court extended it till November 28 after ED prosecutor Vikas Garg told the court that the probe into the case was at a crucial stage.
Garg also informed the court that ED had sent requests to the ministry concerned for issuance of Letters Rogatory (LRs) to various countries for their probe into the case and the agency was waiting for the response. He said that the agency has written to the Ministry of Defence seeking some more documents related to the case which would help them in their ongoing investigation. The court, after hearing the ED's submissions, extended Khaitan's judicial custody by two weeks.
The court had earlier dismissed his bail plea on the ground that investigation regarding other accused persons was still in progress. Earlier, Khaitan's counsel had argued that he was a "soft target" and "influential persons", who were also accused in the case, had not yet been arrested by ED. ED had alleged that Khaitan was "actively involved" in the illegal transactions relating to proceeds of crime and he was one of the beneficiaries of the entire deal.
ED is probing the case in which 70 million euros (Rs 360 crore) were allegedly paid as kickbacks. The agency had earlier submitted that Khaitan was on the board of Chandigarh-based company Aeromatrix which was allegedly a front firm for the financial dealings in the chopper deal. Khaitan was arrested by ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
ED had lodged a case in July against Khaitan, former IAF chief S P Tyagi and 19 others in the VVIP chopper deal case to probe alleged kickbacks.