A court in Delhi on Friday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to cancel a Look Out Circular issued against former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi, who is an accused in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, PTI reported. Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed the probe agency to inform the concerned authorities about the notice’s cancellation.
A Look Out Circular is issued to check if a person who is travelling is wanted by law enforcement agencies. The CBI had issued this circular against Tyagi in 2013 and had accused him and two others of allegedly accepting bribes to influence the purchase of the 12 VVIP helicopters.
The agency had said the deal was worth Rs 3,767 crore, of which 12% was paid in bribes. In May 2016, the CBI had said two suspicious payments were made to accounts held by the former Air Force chief who retired in 2007. In September 2017, the probe agency had filed a chargesheet naming Tyagi, alleged middleman Christian Michel, and eight others as accused.
Court seeks Tihar officials’ response
The court of Special Judge Arvind Kumar on Friday also asked Tihar jail authorities to respond to a plea by Michel who has asked to be lodged in a separate cell in the prison.
The special court was hearing Michel’s application filed through his counsel Aljo K Joseph and Vishnu Shankar. The plea asked the court to direct the “superintendent of Tihar Jail to allocate a separate cell to accused Christian James Michel”.
The court on Wednesday had reserved its order on Michel’s bail plea and had sent him to judicial custody till December 28. The court will pronounce its order on the bail application on Saturday.
Michel was arrested in the United Arab Emirates and extradited to India on December 4. He is one of three suspected middlemen who Indian investigative agencies believe brokered the deal, which was signed in 2010 between the former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and British-Italian firm AgustaWestland.