New Delhi [India], February 18 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order on bail plea of British citizen Christian Michel James in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
The bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri on Friday reserved the order after the conclusion of the arguments of all sides. Probe agencies, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have opposed the bail petition filed by alleged middleman Christian Michel James in connection with the VVIP Chopper case.
During Arguments made in the matter, CBI had strongly opposed the bail plea and said, Christian Michel is at flight risk because of the way the British government is helping him and he is connected right at the top.
And ED counsel also submitted Michel didn’t cooperate in the investigation, hence, summons were issued earlier. ASG SV Raju also submitted that the helicopters have become useless in combating the Chinese in Ladakh because this man has tinkered with crucial defence data.
Advocate Aljo K Joseph appeared for Christian Michel argued that all the other accused in the case got bail in 60 days and my client is the only one who hasn’t been given the bail and suffering incarnation. When all other accused persons are on bail then why I am being singled out.
Advocate Joseph further argued that 218 witnesses, 1059 documents, the first chargesheet in 2018 (45,000 pages), first supplementary (25,000 pages), nine years of probe still investigation are not complete, the prosecution sanctions have yet not come. During Extradition proceedings, I was detained for two months in Dubai prison. Three years and two months I have spent in jail in India, Advocate Aljo K Joseph added.
Earlier the Delhi HC had also asked the investigation agency to file translated copy of the Dubai Supreme Court order related to Michel extradition.
Michel’s legal team earlier, claimed that there was alleged illegality perpetuating in the case, as Michel’s Extradition request letter exchanged between India and UAE has not been filed despite the lapse of the last three years.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju and Zoheb Hossain appeared for ED and Advocate DP Singh appeared for CBI in the AgustaWestland matter. Advocate Aljo K Joseph represented accused Christian Michel James.
According to the bail petition, the applicant (Michel) will be available to join the investigation or 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.
In the matter, the trial court while rejecting Christian Michel bail plea had shown its displeasure with British High Commission for sending a letter addressed to this 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.”
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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