AgustaWestland case: CBI court disallows Christian Michel’s plea to meet his foreign lawyer

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A Special CBI court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by Christian Michel to meet his foreign legal aide Rosemary Patrizzi to hold a legal interview in Tihar Jail. Michel had sought to meet Patrizzi in accordance with his rights to meet his Indian attorneys in jail while in judicial custody.

As per Tihar jail rules, if a foreign lawyer, if intending or visit the accused as a friend can be allowed. The Court opined that it was clear from the reading of these Rules that only Legal Practitioners registered under the Advocates Act, 1961 are permitted to meet the accused and have a legal interview.

Advocate Aljo Joseph, appearing for Michel submitted that accused is a British citizen and does not have any friends or relatives in India and sought that the accused may be allowed to meet his lawyers in Jail during the period of judicial custody so that the accused will be in a position to explain his case for defense.

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It is also submitted that the accused is facing prosecution in different countries and not all the cases are being handled by Indian lawyers. The court further noted that no details of cases pending outside India regarding which the accused intends to have a discussion with a foreign lawyer. The discussion should take place while legal interviews which had been mentioned in the application.

It is notable that the foreign attorney of Michel had a meeting in February 2019 when she intended to meet him as a friend.

Michel is the alleged middleman and accused in the 3600 Cr VVIP chopper scam. He was extradited from UAE in 2018. Michel is currently lodged in Tihar jail in connection with alleged irregularities in multi Crore VVIP Chopper deal case and Money laundering.

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