A Delhi court on Thursday rejected a petition by Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper scam, seeking bail to celebrate Easter with his family, PTI reported. The court had reserved its order in the morning.
Michel had sought seven-day interim bail for Easter. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate told the court that India has several festivals and accused persons cannot be allowed to go out of jail to celebrate them. They said Michel can participate in Easter in custody.
The agencies told the court that if Michel gets out on interim bail and makes statements, it can derail the investigation. Michel’s lawyer, however, said that since a chargesheet has been filed, there is no point of tampering with evidence.
“Being a Christian, he was not even allowed to offer a holy mass even during Christmas...,” Michel’s plea said. “It is submitted that the week commencing from 14th April to 21st April is a holy week for Christians and 21st April is Easter which will be celebrated universally. The petitioner wishes to attend the holy mass on Easter day and would like to make offerings during the Easter day.”
The Enforcement Directorate had filed a supplementary chargesheet against Michel and others on April 4.
The previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had signed a Rs 3,565-crore helicopter deal in 2010 with the British-Italian firm AgustaWestland. The deal was put on hold after Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company, on charges of paying bribes to win the contract. Christian Michel, who was extradited to India from the United Arab Emirates in January, is now lodged in Tihar Jail.