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The Enforcement Directorate has been allowed to quiz corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar who was liaising for the purchase of 43 aircraft from French company Airbus in 2005.

Talwar is currently in judicial custody and the court has allowed the agency to interrogate him on jail premises from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 6 pm.

Talwar obtained benefits for Airbus Industrie and some other foreign companies for a huge sum of funds received in the accounts of various entities directly or indirectly controlled by him.

The ED told the court Talwar exploited his connections with government servants, which gave him pecuniary advantage in conspiracy with Airbus Industrie, while causing a corresponding loss to the government in carrying out the purchase of 43 craft by Indian Airlines from Airbus.

The ED had earlier moved an application for his production warrant so he could be arrested in the Airbus case. But the court asked them to question him in jail instead, following which ED withdrew the warrant application. The court later passed an order permitting the agency to grill him on weekdays.

The ED informed the court that the negotiated for the aircraft were finalised in a meeting held by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) in September 2005, where representatives from the French company were also present.

The public prosecutor told the court that Talwar received Rs 92 crore from Airbus in one account and Rs 142 crore in another.

Caused Rs 1,000-cr loss to govt exchequer: ED

‘EGoM approved purchase of 43 aircraft in 2006 on the condition that Airbus will establish training and repair centre worth Rs 1,000 crore. But the condition was fraudulently deleted when purchase order was placed,’ the ED has stated.

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