Christian Michel’s bail plea dismissed

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of British national Christian Michel, the middleman accused in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed the bail plea, which was rejected by Special Judge Arvind Kumar.

Michel sought the bail saying he has been in custody since December 4, 2018, and as per Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the probe was supposed to be completed by February 3, and the charge sheet was also not filed within the stipulated 60-day period, his defence counsel told the court.

The CBI argued the charge sheet against the accused, including Michel, has been filed and proceedings have started.

Quoting provisions of Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the CBI said the 60-day criteria was not applicable in this case.

On its part, the ED said rather than filing various prosecution complaints piecemeal, the agency is in the process of filing a detailed and comprehensive prosecution complaint.

Michel was extradited to India on December 4, 2018 from the United Arab Emirates after the ED had lodged a request with the UAE authorities for extradition. The ED arrested him on December 22, 2018.

The ED and the CBI had filed charge sheets in the bribery cases in courts and non-bailable warrants had been issued against the accused.

The CBI had named former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie, then IAF Vice Chief J.S. Gujral and advocate Gautam Khaitan as the four Indians involved in the scam.

The others named in the charge sheet included Giuseppe Orsi, former chief of Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, apart from middlemen Michel, Haschke and Gerosa.