CBI seeks more time to file reply to Christian Michel’s bail application1 min read . Updated: 13 Nov 2019, 08:11 PM IST
- Michel had sought bail on the grounds that the Italian court after considering all the materials and documents had acquitted him in the case
- The next date of hearing is on 29 November
Delhi High court on Wednesday granted two more weeks time to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file reply on the bail application of Christian Michel in the AgustaWestland chopper case. It had sought extension of time to file the reply. The agency sought time on the ground that will be filing a chargesheet soon in the case.
The next date of hearing is on 29 November.
Michel had sought bail on the grounds that the Italian court after considering all the materials and documents had acquitted him in the case. He claims that he has made no attempt to influence witnesses or tamper with documentary evidence during the custodial investigation or during any time in the investigation.
He has further claimed in his plea that the investigation agency failed to complete the investigation within the prescribed time as envisaged in the Code of Criminal Procedure. It further adds that the chargesheet filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) doesn’t attribute his role with regard to lowering of height of the VVIP helicopters from 6000 meter to 4500 meter.
He has sought relief saying that since the materials collected during the investigation is mostly documentary in nature and the said documents are already produced before the Special CBI court. Hence, there is no chance of tampering with the evidence.
He says that his pre-trial incarceration is violative of his personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India since he is in judicial custody since 5 January this year.
His bail application was earlier rejected by the special court in both the cases by ED and CBI.
He is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.
Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the investigating agencies. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
The AgustaWestland case refers to a deal for 12 luxury choppers for use by the President, Prime Minister and other VIPs when the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was in power. India is investigating charges that Christian Michel allegedly organized bribes to push a ₹ 3,600-crore contract for the helicopters. Before Michel emerged as a key player in the AgustaWestland deal, he had served as a “historic consultant" to AgustaWestland and Westland Helicopters in the UK. He had made use of his technical and operational knowledge of the aircraft, and the military bases and the pilots, to land the job.