The Central Bureau of Investigation (hereinafter referred to as “CBI”) and the Enforcement Directorate (hereinafter referred to as “ED”) received notice from the Delhi High Court on Monday regarding British national and alleged middleman Christian Michel’s bail application in the cases filed in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper deal (Christian Michel James versus CBI) (Christian Michel James versus ED).
After hearing Michel’s attorney, Aljo K Joseph, who claimed that every accused had been granted bail save his client, Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri issued a notice to the investigating authorities.
Joseph suggested that “The accused has been in jail for two years and eight months. In this case, all offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 were committed, with a maximum punishment of seven years in prison”.
The ED was represented by Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, and the CBI was represented by advocate DP Singh. Michel was represented by Aljo K Joseph, Sriram Parakkat, and MS Vishnu Shankar.
The CBI stated that it intended to respond to the bail application.
Michel’s bail petitions were denied on June 18 by a special CBI court presided over by special judge Arvind Kumar, who described him as a “flight risk.”
Michel was extradited to India from Dubai and appeared before the CBI Court on December 5, 2018, where he was placed in CBI custody. The CBI Court sentenced him to seven days in ED detention on December 22, 2018.
On January 5, 2019, he was ultimately placed in judicial custody and has stayed in Tihar Jail ever since.
The CBI filed an additional charge sheet against Michel and others, including ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi, in February 2020, alleging violations of Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, 1960 as well as various crimes under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.