NEW DELHI: British national Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, on Friday moved a bail plea in a Delhi court.

Special judge Arvind Kumar directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file their responses on his bail plea and listed the matter for February 12.

Michel has sought bail saying he had been in custody from December 4, 2018, and, under the terms of Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal procedure, the probe was supposed to have been be completed by February 3. “Accused had been in custody from December 4, 2018, in terms of Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal procedure, the investigation had to be completed by February 3, 2019… The chargesheet was not filed against him within the stipulated 60-day period,” the plea filed by Michel’s lawyer, Aljo Joseph, told the court. “There is no basis to keep the applicant in judicial custody…,” the plea added.

Michel was extradited to India on December 4 from the UAE. He is one of the three middlemen being investigated by the CBI and ED in the VVIP helicopter deal.

In January, ED had lodged a request with the UAE authorities seeking Michel’s extradition. Both the ED and the CBI had filed chargesheets in bribery cases in Indian courts and non-bailable warrants had been issued against the accused. In its chargesheet, the CBI had named former IAF chief S P Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi, alias Julie, then IAF vice-chief J S Gujral and lawyer Gautam Khaitan as the four Indians involved in the scam.



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