Christian Michel may abscond from India if released on bail: CBI, ED tell Delhi court

Michel's lawyer had filed a bail application saying the CBI and ED had not filed charge sheet against him within the stipulated time frame of 60 days.

Christian Michel may abscond from India if released on bail: CBI, ED tell Delhi court

NEW DELHI: Opposing the bail plea of  AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case middlemen Christian Micgel, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday told a Delhi court that Michel may abscond from India if released on bail.

The CBI and the ED, in their separate replies, told special judge Arvind Kumar that there are serious economic offences accusations against Michel and they have evidence to nail him.

CBI said since Michel is a British national athere is "every likelihood that if he is granted bail, he may abscond from India, evading the process of law and may not return to face the trial." 

"The apprehensions of CBI about his absconding from the process of law gets support from his past conduct. Keeping in mind the facts and circumstances, there also exists a security threat for the applicant accused, if enlarged on bail," CBI said while seeking dismissal of Michel's bail plea. 

According to CBO, Michel was the middleman in a defence deal of government of India and such "shady and nefarious defence deals sometime create hurdles even in implementing the fair and transparent decisions taken by the governments for procurement of defence equipments in order to strengthen the defence line of the country". 

"There is ample evidence on record to link the applicant accused to the commission of such offences, and his release on bail would adversely affect further investigation to unearth the deep-rooted multi-layered conspiracy in the instant case. The conduct of the applicant-accused till date has been evasive," said the country's premier investigating agency. 

Michel's lawyer had filed a bail application saying the CBI and ED had not filed charge sheet against him within the stipulated time frame of 60 days.

"Since, the charge sheet was not filed against him within the stipulated 60-day period under section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Probe is complete. I'm in custody since December 22, 2018," Michel had said in the petition.

Michel was extradited from Dubai to India on December 22 last year and was arrested by the ED. He was sent to judicial custody on January 5 in the ED case. 

(with PTI inputs)