Agusta Westland scam accused seeks bail citing COVID-19; SC rejects 

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Upholding the verdict of the Delhi High Court, the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the interim bail plea of Christian Michael who has been accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

A bench headed by Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai dismissed the appeal filed by Michael who had cited the rising number of COVID-19 cases and his own personal health, arguing that he was more vulnerable to the virus than other prisoners.

He cited the directions issued by the Apex Court to the States and UT’s to avoid the spread of the virus in the prisons. The court had subsequently set up an empowered committee to set up guidelines on releasing the prisoners.

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The court opined that Michael wasn’t eligible to be released as per the guidelines issued by the committee.

Christian Micheal was extradited to India from the UAE in December 2018 and was arrested by the CBI. He was subsequently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

He is one of the three middlemen who have been accused in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland Helicopter case. He is allegedly the middleman who paid kickbacks to various government officials to secure the deal meant procure choppers to transport VVIPs.

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