AgustaWestland deal alleged middleman Christian Michel James on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court seeking interim bail in the CBI and ED case against him, on the grounds of the outbreak of COVID-19.
The plea filed through Advocate Aljo K Joseph stated that the petitioner is 59 years of age and ill. The age and a pre-existing bad state of health will make the applicant more susceptible to the infection than any other prisoner with a normal health condition.
Further, the presence within prisons of subjects who have tested positive for COVID-19 poses a threat to the applicant considering his existing health condition and age.
In view of the present situation and any contingencies that may arise as a result of the over-crowded prisons during the current pandemic, it is necessary that the court may consider the plight of Christian Michel and persons similarly placed.
He said that he is in judicial custody since the date of his arrest and his further incarceration, it is most respectfully and humbly submitted, would amount to violation of human rights, more particularly in view of the foregoing facts, when his presence can be ensured during the trial before this Court by imposing other reasonable conditions. As such, it would be far-fetched to say that he is likely to jump bail.
Michel was extradited from Dubai last year and is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with alleged irregularities in the chopper deal.
While the CBI is probing his alleged role in the deal as a "middleman", the Enforcement Directorate is investigating money laundering charges against him.