Apex court seeks updates on probe into Barak missile deal


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday sought from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the latest update on its ongoing probe into the controversial Barak missile deal involving arms dealer Suresh Nanda.

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A bench of Justices G.P. Mathur and Aftab Alam sought CBI’s status report on the probe within three days, while hearing a plea by Nanda seeking permission to go abroad.

The bench also asked Nanda, son of former Navy chief Admiral S.M. Nanda, to apprise it of the details of his proposed travel plans.

Seeking the court’s permission for Nanda to go abroad and release of his passport, his counsel Mukul Rohatgi pleaded to the court that his business was suffering due to the travel ban.

Rohtagi said that for the last 15 months he has not been able to leave the country and this has been affecting his business.

Additional Solicitor General Amarender Sharan, appearing for CBI, however, opposed Nanda’s plea and said his involvement in the deal was to be probed as he is suspected to have received kickbacks worth over Rs.1 billion in the Rs.11.50 billion defence deal with an Israeli firm.

The government’s law officer said the CBI is presently engaged in probing Nanda’s role in the deal as he had brought money from abroad without specifying its source.

He said investigations would take some time as the case has international ramifications and the investigating agency was waiting for replies from various countries on the Letters Rogatory sent to them.

The agency said once the responses are received, Nanda would be confronted with documents relating to the case.

In his plea, Nanda has challenged a Delhi High Court order restraining him from going abroad after the CBI sought his presence in the country on the ground that investigation in the case was at a preliminary stage.