Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday moved a petition in Delhi’s Patiala House Court seeking production warrant of Christian Michel, alleged middleman in Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.
The production warrant is an order issued by a criminal court of law to produce a person before the court in connection with criminal proceedings pending against him.
The 54-year-old Michel is an accused in the case along with others including former Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief SP Tyagi. The AgustaWestland helicopter deal finalised during the previous government headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got mired in the allegations of kickbacks.
According to the ED charge sheet filed in a court two years back, Michel had received kickbacks to the tune of 30 million Euros from AgustaWestland for the deal involving the purchase of 12 VIP helicopters. The deal, signed in 2007, was scrapped in 2013 following the bribery allegations.
At present, Michel is in judicial custody and is lodged in Tihar jail. He too has filed a new petition asking the judicature to allocate him a special cell in the prison. In its plea, Michel has stated that the other inmates of the cell are bothering him with too many questions.
“It is submitted that the accused Christian James Michel apprehends that the inmates along with him in the cell are trying to interact with him in a detailed manner and asking him questions pertaining to the pending investigation,” reads his petition.
“It is submitted that such interactions with the common people/residents in the cell may go against the interest of the investigation as well as the rights available to the accused in the jail. They tried to mention that the safety of the persons who are interacting with the accused may at some point of time be in jeopardy,” the petition of Michel further reads.
“It is informed by the accused that the residents in the cell are putting uncomfortable questions to him which otherwise affect the personal liberty of the accused,” the petitions adds.
“The accused apprehends that any wrong statements made by any of them through any media interaction may go against the interest of the accused as well the free and fair investigation and trial, which the Constitution of India guarantees,” Michel stated in his plea.