Agusta Westland VVIP Chopper case: Delhi HC issues notice to CBI, ED on Christian Michel bail plea

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

By Sushil Batra

New Delhi [India], July 19 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a fresh bail petition of alleged middlemen Christian Michel James in connection with VVIP Chopper case. His bail petitions were recently dismissed by trial court.

The bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri on Monday sought a response from CBI and ED in the matter and slated the matter for September 21.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju and Zoheb Hossain appeared for ED and Advocate DP Singh appeared for CBI in the Agusta Westland matter. Advocate Aljo K Joseph represented accused, Christian Michel James.

According to the bail petition filed in a trial court, the Applicant (Michel) will be available to join the investigation any future investigation and trial, as and when required and has never sought to evade the process of law.

"The advocates earlier told the Court that Michel has made no attempt to suborn witnesses, tamper with documentary evidence, or in any other manner pollute or obstruct the judicial process and further, the applicant undertakes that he shall not, tamper with evidence or influence witnesses, nor is there any reasonable or justifiable apprehension thereof."

Recently the trial court while rejecting James bail plea showed its displeasure with British High Commission for sending a letter addressed to the court stating that the medical condition of accused Christian Michel James and his pre-trial detention of two and half years may be taken into account when his bail application is considered.

"It was on May 13 made clear that such direct communication to Court from third party is not permissible and if anyone has any grievance or wants to participate in the court proceedings, he may move the appropriate application and same shall be considered as per law...." the court said.

Christian Michel James was extradited in 2018 after India won the extradition case in Dubai. Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the deal, was deported from the UAE and is currently in judicial custody. The Dubai-based businessman Rajeev Saxena was extradited to India on January 31, 2019 in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore alleged scam relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland. (ANI)

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