A Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court on Thursday reserved its order on the application by British businessman Christian Michel alleging leak of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s supplementary charge sheet in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case to media houses. The order on the plea will be pronounced on May 3.
"Agustawestland Case: A CBI court reserves order on the application by Christian Michel on leaking of content of the charge sheet to media houses. Order on the plea to be pronounced on May 3," the news agency ANI reported.
#Agustawestland Case: A CBI court reserves order on the application by Christian Michel on leaking of content of the chargesheet to media houses. Order on the plea to be pronounced on May 3.— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2019
In his application, Michel's lawyer had told the court that the copy of the charge sheet was provided to the media before it was provided to the accused. "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," the counsel said.
In its response, the ED had on April 12 told a Delhi court that there was nothing wrong if the media published or broadcast its contents. The agency also sought dismissal of the application filed by Michel, alleged middleman arrested in the case who accused the ED of politicising the matter by leaking the documents to the media.
"It was a public document and there was nothing wrong if someone accessed it. It is not that no one was entitled to get a copy. The cognisance was already taken," the ED's counsel said while refuting the allegation that the agency had leaked the documents.
Michel, currently in judicial custody, was arrested by the ED on December 22 last year after his extradition from Dubai. He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI. The others are Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.
The agency had earlier told the court that Michel received 24.25 million euros and 1,60,96,245 pounds from the AgustaWestland deal. The ED told the court that it had identified Michel's properties purchased with the proceeds of the crime.
The ED, in its charge sheet filed against Michel in June 2016, had alleged that he had received 30 million euros (about Rs 225 crore) from AgustaWestland.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, has alleged an estimated loss of 398.21 million euros (about Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010 for the supply of VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euros.
(With inputs from agencies)