How was charge sheet leaked? CBI court asks in AgustaWestland deal case

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 06, 2019, 08:09 PM(IST)

File photo: Christian Michel is an accused in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper scam. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Christian Michel, on Friday, filed an application after reports appeared that ED in its charge sheet has named politicians of the previous UPA dispensation, defence personnel, bureaucrats and journalists as the beneficiaries of the controversial defence deal.

A special CBI court on Saturday said that it needs to come out how the charge sheet was leaked. The court was hearing a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking issuance of notice to a TV channel for leaking the document before cognisance of the matter was taken.

"It needs to come out how the charge sheet was leaked," said Special Judge Arvind Kumar while directing the agency to submit a report on the leaking of the document. The matter has been posted for hearing on April 11.

Over the ED's request for issuing a notice, the judge said that it will consider the move after considering the reply filed by the agency. 

Christian Michel, alleged middleman arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam, told a Delhi court on Friday that he has not named anybody in connection with the deal during the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate, which has filed a supplementary charge sheet, news agency PTI reported. 

The development came shortly after reports emerged suggesting Michel to have identified the initials "AP" as Congress leader Ahmed Patel in a charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before a court on Thursday.

Michel, on Friday, alleged that the central government was using agencies for political agenda. He filed an application after the reports appeared that ED in its charge sheet has named politicians of the previous UPA dispensation, defence personnel, bureaucrats and journalists as the beneficiaries of the controversial defence deal.

"Michel has not named anyone in his statement before the agency which is being leaked to media. This is only to make the matter sensational and prejudice the case against my client," his counsel, Aljo K Joseph said.

Michel has questioned as to how the charge sheet was leaked to the media even before its cognisance was taken by the court.

Meanwhile, the agency requested the court seeking issuance of a notice to the TV channel for accessing the charge sheet before cognizance. ED also sought inquiry into the leaking of charge sheet matter.

(With inputs from ANI) 

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