19 July 2021 10:03 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice in the fresh bail pleas filed by Christian Michel, accused in connection with Augusta Westland case, in both Enforcement Directorate and CBI cases. Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri sought response of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in the bail pleas after hearing Advocate Aljo K Joseph and counsels appearing on behalf of the investigating agencies....
The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice in the fresh bail pleas filed by Christian Michel, accused in connection with Augusta Westland case, in both Enforcement Directorate and CBI cases.
Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri sought response of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in the bail pleas after hearing Advocate Aljo K Joseph and counsels appearing on behalf of the investigating agencies. The matter will now be heard on September 21.
During the course of hearing, Joseph argued, "All the accused persons have been granted bail. I'm in custody since 4 December 2018. All these offences alleged against me under PMLA are post amendments. So these cannot be made applicable against me."
The move comes after a Delhi Court last month rejected the bail plea of Christian Michel. Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar turned down the bail plea after observing that "No case is made out for grant of bail on medical ground."
"The accused is a British National, having no roots in India. It is noted that NBWs were issued against accused on 24.09.2015 and the accused was arrested in Dubai and thereafter was extradited to India on 04.12.2018. It is not that the accused had himself joined investigation in India or appeared before this Court, of his own. The accused also did not join investigation in Italy. Thus the accused is a flight risk. The accused cannot claim parity with other accused persons in view of his aforesaid conduct," the Court had said.
In the plea, Michel had stated that he was illegality taken to custody by the Government of India and the executing agency CBI and deported from Dubai on 4th December 2018 and thereafter produced before the Court.
"The deprivation of liberty of Christian James Michel by the government of India, being in contravention of articles 3, 9, 10 and 11 (1) of the universal declaration of human rights and articles 9 (3); 10 (1); and 14 (1)–(2) and (3) (b)–(d) and (g) of the international covenant on civil and political rights," the plea read.
However, turning down the bail plea, the Special Court had ordered thus:
"Thus considering the overall facts and circumstances, serious nature of accusations, gravity of offence and aforesaid conduct of the accused, I do not consider it to be a fit case for grant of bail. Application for bail filed by accused is, thus, dismissed."
The chargesheet against Michel was filed in 2017 after which he was arrested in December 2018 after being extradited from Dubai. He is allegedly termed as a 'Middleman' for the illegal transactions that took place in the VVIP chopper scam.
The CBI had alleged that there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (about 2666 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 Agusta Westland.