Tihar Jail response sought on ED plea seeking Michel’s questioning

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday ordered Tihar Jail authorities to file a response on the Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking to question British national Christian Michel, the middleman accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, in judicial custody.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar’s order came after the ED moved a plea seeking to interrogate Michel again in the case.

Special Public Prosecutors D.P. Singh and N.K. Matta, appearing for the ED, told the court that the investigation agency had received some more documents and wanted to further interrogate the accused in judicial custody for two days.

Michel’s counsels, on the other hand, requested the court’s permission to remain present at the time of his interrogation.

Michel’s advocates Aljo K. Joseph and Vishnu Sankar also requested the court to shift him from an isolation cell to a normal cell in Jail number 7, where white collar accused are housed.

The counsels informed the court that Michel was kept in isolation in Jail number 1, which also houses 27 alleged Kashmiri suspects, and was not allowed to interact nor walk around in the prison.

The court had on March 5 directed Tihar Jail authorities to shift Michel to Jail No. 1, 3 or 4, which are meant for keeping undertrials.

Michel was extradited to India on December 4, 2018 from the United Arab Emirates.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed charge sheets in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case naming Michel and others as accused.

The court issued a production warrant against Michel and listed the matter for further hearing on March 12.