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CBI Explains In Delhi High Court Money Flow Allegedly Linking Christian Michel With Agusta Westland, Opposes Bail

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
15 Jan 2022 7:48 AM GMT
CBI Explains In Delhi High Court Money Flow Allegedly Linking Christian Michel With Agusta Westland, Opposes Bail
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The Central Bureau of Investigation has informed the Delhi High Court that Christian James Michel, accused in connection with Augusta Westland case, received kickbacks for the VVIP chopper deal and should not be released on bail.Advocate D. P. Singh appearing for the agency submitted that two companies owned by Michel, one based in Dubai and another in London, received over 40 million...

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The Central Bureau of Investigation has informed the Delhi High Court that Christian James Michel, accused in connection with Augusta Westland case, received kickbacks for the VVIP chopper deal and should not be released on bail.

Advocate D. P. Singh appearing for the agency submitted that two companies owned by Michel, one based in Dubai and another in London, received over 40 million dollars from Agusta Westland, against certain contract service agreements.

The development ensued in the bail application moved by Michel following rejection of his bail plea by a local Court.

Earlier, Justice Manoj Ohri, hearing the bail plea, had directed the agency to file a written format and explain the international money flow on the next date of hearing.

Accordingly, Singh presented Tabular charts explaining the agreements, the money flow, and produced copies of some invoices and payment proofs, to establish that money flowed to Michel's companies.

Singh pressed that Michel has been charged with serious offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and under for Criminal conspiracy and Cheating under the Indian Penal Code. Further, considering that he is a British National, with no roots in India, was extradited from Dubai in December 2018- he is a flight risk.

Advocate Aljo K Joseph appearing for Michel vehemently opposed the supplementary chargesheet filed by CBI. Referring to Section 21 of the Extradition Act, 1962, he argued that a person who has been extradited and returned by a foreign State cannot be tried in India for an offence other than the extradition offence in relation to which he was surrendered or returned.

This, he said, is dubbed by the judiciary as the 'Doctrine of Speciality'.

Reliance was placed on the case of Daya Singh Lahoria vs Union Of India, where the Supreme Court had explained the doctrine as follows:

"The doctrine of specialty is yet another established rule of international law relating to extradition. Thus, when a person is extradited for a particular crime, he can be tried for only that crime. If the requesting State deems it desirable to try the extradited fugitive for some other crime committed before his extradition, the fugitive has to be brought to the status quo ante, in the sense that he has to be returned first to the State which granted the extradition and a fresh extradition has to be requested for the latter crime."

Accordingly, Joseph opposed the charge of conspiracy as alleged against Michel.

"Unless it is specifically mentioned in the (extradition) decree, I can't be prosecuted. There is no conspiracy case against me at all," he submitted.

The Bench will continue hearing the case on January 18.

The charge-sheet against Michel was filed in 2017 after which he was arrested in December 2018 after being extradited from Dubai. He is allegedly termed as a 'Middleman' for the illegal transactions that took place in the VVIP chopper scam.

The CBI had alleged that there was an estimated loss of Euro 398.21 million (about 2666 Crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth Euro 556.262 million.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had then filed a chargesheet against Mr. Michel in June, 2016, alleging that he had received EUR 30 million (about Rs 225 crore) from Agusta Westland.

Also Read: [Agusta Westland Case] 'Not Having Deep Rooted Connections In India Cannot Be Ground To Deny Bail': Christian Michel Tells Delhi High Court

Also Read: Agusta Westland Accused Christian Michel Not Cooperating In Investigation, At Flight Risk: CBI Opposes Bail In Delhi High Court

Case Title: Christian Michel James v. Directorate of Enforcement

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