The alleged middleman in the Augusta Westland scam, Christian Michel, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail in a CBI case against him.
In his bail plea, Michel has submitted that all the offences he's charged with, both under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC, are punishable with less than 7 years of imprisonment. Hence, they are not grave offences to warrant continued custody.
Michel has also mentioned that he was willing to join the investigation and he had sent various letters expressing the same. However, CBI meanwhile started proceedings in Dubai to extradite him.
It is submitted that in the past 5 years of his legal battle, Michel has always cooperated with the investigation and has never tried to evade the process of law in any country. Even in the proceedings in Dubai, he was appearing regularly.
The plea also mentions that despite Michel being arrested by CBI on 04.12.18, the investigation is still not completed by the investigation agency. Due to this failure of the agency, his continued custody would be a violation of his right to personal liberty.
It is also averred that there's no allegation against Michel which refers to tampering of evidence or influencing the witnesses. Moreover, the Italian Court has also acquitted him after considering all the materials presented against him. This makes the provisions of UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crimes binding on the Indian government.
The application also cites the judgment of the Supreme Court in Nikesh Tarachand Shah v. Union of India to argue that when the bail has been granted in the scheduled offence, then the accused has to be given bail in the offence under PMLA as well.
Christian Michel was extradited from Dubai and was arrested by CBI on 04.12.18. He was then arrested by ED on 22.12.18. He has been in judicial custody since 05.01.2019.
The Bail Application was filed through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, Vishnu Shankar and Aljo Joseph