Why did AG travel with a smuggling case accused?

AG was seen spotted with a smuggling case accused raising eyebrows

AG was seen spotted with a smuggling case accused
AG was seen spotted with a smuggling case accused

Is this another case of Bad Optics for India’s top law officer Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi? His old association with Rajeev Agarwal, a person jailed for smuggling is haunting him, as he maintained relations with him, even after he became the AG on June 12, 2014.

As per the flight manifest sourced by PGurus, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi traveled with Rajeev Agarwal on December 20, 2014 in Emirates flight (EK 511) from Delhi to Dubai. According to eyewitnesses, Delhi’s Customs Commissioner and top officials escorted the Attorney General and his controversial friend cum client caught for smuggling from Airport entrance to Aircraft! Rohatgi’s seat number was 2E and Agarwal was in the adjacent seat 2F.

This is the concerned portion of the seven page flight manifest and the entire manifest is reproduced at the end of the article.
Delhi Dubai Etihad Flight Manifest Dec 20 2014
Who is Rajeev Agarwal? This man in his mid-40s was engaged in smuggling in Mumbai till mid-2000s. In early 2000 he was caught and jailed for a few months by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for importing luxury cars. He was also booked for smuggling watches and many other items by the DRI and Customs. The chargesheet filed against Rajeev Agarwal for the violation and tax evasion in import of cars is still pending before the trial court in Mumbai. In some smuggling cases, Agarwals escaped from the adjudicating forums also.

Meanwhile Rajeev and brother Sanjay Agarwal started a law firm to deal with customs related cases. The firm was registered as a company in March 2005 with an apt name – Prompt Legal Solutions Private Limited. They started getting all smuggling cases and fielded country’s top lawyers to represent them in several forums including High Courts and Supreme Courts. Who was their go-to lawyer? Mukul Rohatgi. Om Prakash v/s Union of India is one such case related to smuggling dealt by Agarwals’ legal firm in which Rohatgi appeared in the Supreme Court. They tasted success in the judgment delivered by the then Chief Justice Altamas Kabir in September, 2011. Justice Kabir even observed during the arguments that smugglers and tax evaders should not be treated like terrorists and that bail conditions should be liberal!

Agarwals’ law firm became a success in getting bails, reduction of penalties and even let offs in almost all of the smuggling and tax evasion cases. From 2005 onwards, Agarwal brothers were seen frequently in Finance Ministry’s Headquarters at North Block.

Intelligence Bureau and Enforcement Directorate have on several times given the list of more than 40 real estate transactions done by the Agarwal brothers in Dubai alone to their bosses. But due to their clout, no action has been taken so far.

Some questions:

  1. Is it ethical for Attorney General Rohatgi to entertain his old clients even after he became Government’s top lawyer? Clearly as an Advocate he can work with anyone. But should he not maintain the high standards the post of Attorney General of India deserves?
  2. Should he travel with persons caught in smuggling and other cases?
  3. How many times has Rohatgi traveled with Agarwal brothers to Dubai who are having more than 40 real estate transaction for the past decade?
  4. Will the government order a probe in this regard about Attorney General’s “friendships” with persons of ill repute?

Earlier too PGurus have reported about his son appearing for the accused in the Rs.45000 crores ($5.95 billion) Pearl Chit Fund scam. It is high time the Government clarified its stand on such instances. If India is going to attract global investments, it has to be seen as a transparent country where the law of the land not only works, but works well.

Here is a copy of the complete flight manifest:

Mukul Rohatgi Emirates Flight Manifest Delhi Dubai Dec 20, 2014 by PGurus on Scribd



Note:
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 67.15 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
3. The first revision of the post incorrectly named the airline as Etihad. Corrected.

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.
Team PGurus

15 COMMENTS

  1. Was Mukal Rohtagi & Ranjit Kumar personal choices of Jaitley? All these crooks holding high posts in Government must be exposed. Chor chor masere bhai. these are working for the Corporators, smugglers, traitors and cheaters. How could Malya escape without the patronage of High ups in the Govt. and now perhaps Ranjit had gone to London to meet Malya to collect money in exchange for his escape. By the way who was defending Subrata Roy in Court who had cheated Indians crores of Rupees.

  2. Is this Mukal Rohatagi defending the Congress Leaders Titler & Sajjan who were responsible for massacre of Sikhs in 1984

  3. This gives us a clue as to how Mallya escaped.Someone Min of Fin or Min of Law must have sounded him. Previous Dir ED delayed filing FIR for six months. If Modi does not take a firm grip of these two crucial Ministries his effort to punish corrupt will come a naught.
    Modi will also not be able to bring back black money from abroad because of these Jaitly cronies .

  4. Hobnobbing with law breakers and offenders is untenable for a State Law Officer. Ceasor’s wife must be above board. Mukul Rohtagi must step if this report is true and if Rajeev Aggraval was convicted and or has been proved to have been indulging in smuggling and other illegal activites.

  5. It is not uncommon that an advocate handles different types of cases, including those of Smugglers. Similarly Mr Mukul Rohtagi would have handled the case of Rajeev Aggraval in the past. However, having further interractions with such people, who were involved in smuggling operations and were punished, is not desirable once an Advocate accepts the role of nation’s Law Officer or that of a judge of High Court or Supreme court, he must severe all his past association and conduct himself in a way he is above board. Ceasor’s wife must be above board. If this report is true, as it appears prima-facie, then the Mukul Rohtagi must step down without embarrassing the Govt.

  6. This is simply shocking. I wonder if PM Modi is made aware of all this, difficult to believe he is not, or is he simply turning a blind eye for some reason. This rot in finmin is just getting worse by the day. PM Modi please act against the corrupt

  7. You will be shocked,when you will research how and why ravi shankar prasad appointed mukul as attorney general,(i cannot disclose here)

  8. pls verify the links which might go with mr jetly, khangress (akhmat Patel, sonia, gulam nabi aazad, salman khurshit et al) and chidambaram too.

  9. Rohatgi is making a mockery of basic sense of justice. Then you have Ranjit Kumar, the SG who met Mallya in UK. These are all Jaitley’s cronies appointed to these posts to aid his needs.
    Modi must immediately remove all 3 of them. Otherwise one must but assume that Jaitley has some hold over Modi,

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