Delhi HC Reserves Order On Bail Plea Of Christian Michel James In VVIP Chopper Case
The Delhi High Court on Friday reserved its order on the bail applications by Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland scam being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate.
The verdict was reserved by Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri after hearing the counsel appearing for James and the two investigating agencies who have opposed granting bail to him.
The Rs 3,600-crore alleged scam relates to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.
In his bail applications in both the CBI and ED cases, James has said he is not required for investigation and expressed willingness to cooperate with the probe.
The applications have also said that the accused never sought to evade the process of law and that no purpose will be served by keeping him in further custody.
The trial court, while dismissing the bail pleas in both the CBI and ED cases last year, had said that considering the overall facts and circumstances, serious nature of accusations, the gravity of the offence, and the conduct of the accused, it did not consider it to be a fit case for grant of bail.
James was extradited from Dubai in December 2018 and was subsequently arrested by CBI And ED.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, has alleged an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer due to the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010, for the supply of VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros.
The ED, in its charge sheet filed against James in June 2016, had alleged that he had received 30 million euros (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.
James is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the case and the other two are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
With PTI inputs