AugustaWestland: Special CBI Court To Hear Christian Michel's Bail Application On February 12
The Special CBI Court has agreed to hear the bail application filed by alleged middleman Christian Michel in the AgustaWestland case.
The application, filed through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, Aljo K Joseph, and Vishnu Shankar, will be heard by CBI Judge Arvind Kumar on February 12.
The application argues that there is "no basis" to keep Mr. Michel in custody as the chargesheet against him was not filed within the stipulated 60-day period under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. To this end, it points out that since he has been in custody since December 22, 2018, the investigation had to be completed by February 3, 2019.
The CBI has alleged that there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had then filed a chargesheet against Mr. Michel in June, 2016, alleging that he had received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland. He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the ED and the CBI. The two other middlemen being looked are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
Both the agencies had thereafter notified an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him. He was consequently arrested in the UAE and extradited to India on December 4 last year.
He was produced before the CBI Court on December 5, and sent to CBI custody for five days. On subsequent hearings, the custody was extended for another five days, and then for four more days. On December 22, he was sent to 7 days ED custody by the CBI Court.
His earlier bail application in the CBI case was rejected on December 22, with the court opining that the investigation was at a crucial stage and hence, it wasn't a case fit for bail. The CBI Court had then, on January 5, sent Mr. Michel to judicial custody till February 26.