New Delhi: Ratul Puri, the nephew of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, is threatening witnesses in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a Delhi court on Wednesday.

Seeking his custodial interrogation, the probe agency made the claims before special judge Arvind Kumar, during the hearing of an anticipatory bail application filed by him.

"Ratul Puri is threatening the witnesses. People are scared of him. There are various witnesses who allege Puri is pressuring them," the probe agency told the court.

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ED claimed the investigating officer has received certain complaints from the witnesses that they were threatened by Ratul Puri.

"Even in the last few days, while he was being protected from arrest by the court order, he has been non-cooperative. He had not answered any questions," the agency. It added that Rahul Puri was in touch with other accused in the case.

In his bail application, Ratul Puri claimed that he was co-operating in the investigation and the agency wanted to arrest him due to "political vendetta.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Ratul Puri, told the court that there was no material to show that his client was tampering with evidence and he has not figured in any charge sheet till date.

Also read: AgustaWestland scam: Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath’s nephew granted interim protection from arrest

Ratul Puri had earlier moved an anticipatory bail application (ABA) before a Delhi court over the ED investigation against him. 

This development came a day after Puri allegedly vanished leaving the ED's questioning midway at the probe agency's office without informing the officials.

An ABA is filed by a suspect or accused in anticipation of his/her arrest after which the court can grant the person protection from arrest.

The Income Tax Department attached Rs 254 crore worth of “benami” equity of Puri that he had allegedly received from a suspect in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case.