In VVIP Chopper Case, Court Seeks Probe Agencies' Response On Christian Michel Bail Plea

Justice Anu Malhotra asked the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to file their replies within two weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on November 13.

In VVIP Chopper Case, Court Seeks Probe Agencies' Response On Christian Michel Bail Plea

Christian Michel is in judicial custody since January 5. (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought responses of the CBI and ED on bail pleas of Christian Michel James, an alleged middleman, relating to the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam cases.

Justice Anu Malhotra asked the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to file their replies within two weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on November 13.

Michel, who is in judicial custody since January 5 this year and has been denied relief in both matters by the trial court, moved the high court against the lower court''s decision.

In his plea for regular bail in the corruption case, Michel has contended that the entire case depends on documentary evidence which has already been collected by the investigation agency and produced before the special CBI court.

He has also contended in his plea that no economic loss has been caused to the exchequer as Euro 8.35 million was received as compensation by India which also confiscated three helicopters worth Euro 150 million.

It contends that all the accused named in the FIR are on bail and no other public servant has been arrested or interrogated in relation to any transaction with him.

It also states that in the supplementary charge sheet filed by the ED, after interrogating him, no role has been attributed to him with regard to change in specifications of the VVIP helicopters.

It claims that Italian courts had acquitted him and all the other accused in the case and therefore, his prosecution here "amounts to double jeopardy".

Apart from that the application also raises medical grounds for grant of bail. It states that Michel has stones in his kidney and has lost weight.

The special CBI court had denied him the relief, saying there was no sufficient ground to grant bail.

Michel, extradited from Dubai, was arrested by the ED on December 22 last year.

On January 5 this year, he was sent to judicial custody in the ED case. He is also lodged in judicial custody in another case registered by the CBI in connection with the scam.

Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the ED and the CBI. The other two are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

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