AugustaWestland case: Court to hear Michel's plea on entry of ED, CBI into Tihar

ANI
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 24, 2019, 01.31 PM(IST)

File photo: AugustaWestland 'middleman' Christian Michel. Photograph:( ANI )

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Christian Michel was arrested in connection with Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal with money laundering charges against him.

Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court will on January 10 consider an application filed by AgustaWestland alleged 'middleman' Christian Michel seeking an inquiry into the visit of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials in Tihar jail to meet him without court's permission.

Christian Michel is currently lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail in connection with Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal. While the CBI is probing his alleged role as a 'middleman' in the deal, the ED is investigating money laundering charges against him.

He 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 counsellor in Tihar on October 22.

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

Christian Michel's counsel, advocate Aljo K Joseph, said that "as per Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, as and when consular access is requested and consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them."

He further submitted that in October the consular access was allowed for Christian James Michel after four-five requests which is a "violation of the said convention".

"It is informed by the family of Christian James Michel that during the visit by consular, the ED and CBI officials tried to interfere with the process and checked article and books send by the family," he asserted.

The counsels appearing for the agencies, however, submitted that the officials went there on the Ministry of External Affairs' direction.

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