Court dismisses Michel's plea for action against ED

Court dismisses Michel's plea for action against ED

A Delhi court has dismissed an application filed by middleman Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case, seeking an inquiry into ED and CBI officials meeting him in Tihar jail without its permission.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar said, "I do not find any illegality on the part of ED/CBI officials who visited Tihar Jail on October 22, 2019 on the direction of Ministry of External Affairs to enable the accused to have Consular access."

Michel had moved the court seeking inquiry to be conducted into the entry of agency officials into the jail without seeking prior permission from the court.

He alleged that the agency officials searched his belongings during the visit of a British Consular in Tihar on October 22.

The application had also sought initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against ED and CBI officials.

On the contentions, the court had earlier directed the jail authorities to submit a report regarding their visit.

The agencies opposed the application, terming it "not maintainable" and said that was liable to be dismissed since it was "an attempt on the part of the accused to sensitize the case of the applicant."

It submitted that Michel was is trying to pressurise and arm twist the agencies with the ulterior motive.

Michel, extradited from Dubai, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on December 22, 2018 in connection with the Rs 3,600-crore scam case relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.

On January 5, Michel was sent to judicial custody in the ED case. He is also lodged in judicial custody in the CBI case related to the scam.

Michel is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa. 

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