AgustaWestland case: Court directs Tihar to move Christian Michel out of solitary confinement

Vikas SV

New Delhi, Mar 19: A Delhi Court on Tuesday directed Tihar jail authorities to move AgustaWestland chopper scam case accused Christian Michel out of solitary confinement.

Michel had on March 2 sought judicial inquiry over the Tihar Jail authorities having kept him in solitary confinement. He had claimed that it was a violation of his human rights. Delhi's Patiala House court then sought a report from Tihar Jail authorities on March 5.

The Court reportedly watched CCTV footage and observed that Michel was kept in solitary confinement. After this, Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed the jail authorities to file a report regarding the same within three days. Judge Arvind Kumar directed DG Prison to move Michel out of solitary confinement.

Also Read | Christian Michel levels serious allegations against former CBI chief Rakesh Asthana

Tihar jail authorities on March 14 denied the accusations of torture levelled by Christian Michel. The authorities also told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that the accused was granted all the facilities according to the jail manual. The official appearing for the jail also submitted before the court a hard disk containing the CCTV footage, saying it showed that the accused was allowed to walk, access canteen and meet other inmates.

Michel had earlier told the court that the cell in which he has been shifted remains fully illuminated 24 hours because of which he was having problems sleeping.

Michel was allegedly one of the middlemen who brokered the Rs 3,600 crore UPA-era deal for 12 VVIP helicopters. He is accused of paying bribes to officials and politicians.

Also Read | AgustaWestland case: Tihar jail rubbishes allegations of torturing Christian Michel

Earlier, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had opposed the bail plea of Christian Michel, saying he may abscond from India if released. CBI and the ED, in their separate replies, told special judge Arvind Kumar that Michel is accused of serious economic offences and there is ample evidence against him to prove his guilt.

Michel was arrested by the ED on December 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai.

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