Citing the risk of contracting COVID-19 infection in Tihar Jail, British national Christian Michel (59), accused in Agusta Westland scam, moved a fresh application seeking release on bail.
The application refers to the recent order passed by the Supreme Court directing States/UTs to consider grant of parole or interim bail to prisoners and under-trials to de-congest prisons in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
"the Applicant herein is of 59 years of age and ill. The agedness and a pre-existing ill state of health will make the Applicant's body more susceptible to the said infection than any other ordinary prisoner with a normal health condition. Further, the presence within prisons of subjects who are tested positive for Covid19 pose a threat to the Applicant considering his existing health condition and age", stated the application filed in Delhi High Court through Advocates Sriram Parakkat, Vishnu Shankar and Aljo Jose.
It is stated that Michel needs to be to live in an environment "where the risk of contagion is lesser and social distancing can be effectively practiced".
He was arrested by Enforcement Directorate following his extradition from Dubai in December 2018 and has been under custody ever since. Many of his earlier bail applications were dismissed by Courts.
Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the VVIP chopper scam involving AgustaWestland company. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
The CBI has alleged 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 ED, in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.