Delhi High Court agrees to hear MoD case against AgustaWestland

MoD had alleged before the Delhi HC that there are several criminal proceedings going on against AgustaWestland due to which arbitration proceedings cannot be allowed to go on.

Delhi High Court agrees to hear MoD case against AgustaWestland

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear Ministry of Defence's (MoD) stand on the arbitration proceedings going on between AgustaWestland and the government. The court has asked both parties to file their affidavits within five weeks.

The government had moved court seeking permanent injunction order to restrain AgustaWestland from continuing with arbitration process as there were criminal cases ongoing before the trial court. The MoD had told the court that due to the cases, arbitration proceedings cannot be allowed to go on.

The court, however, refused to give any interim order to stay the proceedings before the Arbitration Tribunal.

Meanwhile, British national Christian James Michel, the middleman in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, is in judicial custody till February 26. The ED had sought his judicial custody in connection with its probe into a money laundering case. The ED counsel said that Michel had received euro 24.25 million and pound 16,096,245 from the AgustaWestland deal. 

Michel was extradited to India on December 4 from the United Arab Emirates and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) got his custody till December 19. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on December 22 and sent to ED custody over money laundering charges by a court. 

Michel is one of the three middlemen being investigated by the CBI and the ED in the VVIP chopper deal.