I-T department attaches benami equity shares worth Rs 254 crore held by Kamal Nath’s nephew Ratul Puri

The Income Tax department on Tuesday attached Rs 254 crore worth of benami equity shares held in name of businessman Ratul Puri. According to reports, Delhi Benami Prohibition Unit of IT department has provisionally attached Non-Cumulative Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares of amounting to Rs 254 Cr related to Ratul Puri Group of companies. The funds were received as FDI investment in Optima Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. Puri is the son of Nita and Deepak Puri, CMD of optical storage media firm Moser Baer. He is also the nephew of Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hindustan Power projects. On Saturday, Puri had escaped from the Enforcement Directorate He was asked to appear before the central probe agency in connection with Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal. Several media reports have claimed that the businessman was slated to be arrested on Saturday and he was informed by some officials. Fearing arrest, Puri said that he was going to toilet but he allegedly slipped out of the ED office. The probe agency has again issued summon to appear before them for interrogation. Puri on Saturday sought anticipatory bail from a court, which, the court accepted. In his plea, Puri had said that he is cooperating in the probe and there is no need to arrest him. The court had granted Puri interim relief from arrest until Monday. He also reportedly called the action against him as political vendetta. Earlier, the probe agency had interrogated and confronted him with Sushen Mohan Gupta, a defence agent arrested in a money laundering case. Gupta was grilled after disclosures by lobbyist Rajiv Saxena.