Lava boss Hari Om Rai demands bail

Hari Om Rai met Vivo China CEO in 2013, his lawyer said (file)

New Delhi:

Hari Om Rai, the arrested managing director of Lava International Company, told a Delhi court on Wednesday that just because Sino-Indian relations have deteriorated over the years, it does not mean that he committed a crime at a time, in which there were actually friendly business relations between the two countries.

The accused, who was arrested in a money laundering case against Chinese phone maker Vivo, submitted his submissions through his lawyer before special judge Tarun Yogesh during the hearing of his bail application.

The judge referred the matter for further hearing on December 4.

Lawyers Vikram Chaudhary and Nitesh Rana, who represented the accused, told the court that the accused has no direct or indirect control over Vivo’s business.

“He did not derive any financial benefit, nor was he involved in any transaction with Vivo or any company allegedly affiliated with Vivo, let alone being associated with any alleged ‘proceeds of crime’,” the lawyer said the court.

Nitesh Rana further stated that Mr. Rai met with Shen Wei, CEO of Vivo China in 2013 as Vivo China wanted to enter India.

“At that time, Vivo and Lava were thinking about a joint venture in which Lava would hold 25 percent of the shares. However, this ultimately failed and Vivo decided to run its business in India independently,” the lawyer told the court.

The plea further stated that the negotiations and business discussions between the Applicant and Vivo China’s representatives failed and did not reach a fruitful conclusion, therefore, the Applicant did not pursue the said opportunity and thereafter nothing more with Vivo China and/or its representatives The lawyer filed in 2014.

“The mere fact that international relations between India and China have deteriorated over the years does not mean that the applicant committed an offense at the material time when friendly business relations actually existed between the two countries,” the lawyer shared it to the court.

Mr. Rai was arrested along with several others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED has alleged that Vivo “illegally” transferred Rs 62,476 crore to China to avoid paying taxes in India.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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