A Delhi special court on Friday refused to order a probe into AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case accused Christian Michel’s allegations that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had “politicised” the case by leaking the chargesheet to the media. The court, however, also dismissed the ED’s claim that the chargesheet had been leaked by the court staff.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar did not agree with Michel’s counsel’s claim that a copy of the supplementary chargesheet was not supplied to him, and that it had been “published in media, which makes it clear that ED is not interested in fair trial in a court of law and only wants a trial by media”.
The judge also rubbished the ED’s report into the leak: that it might have been done by the court’s ahlmad, and there is no leakage of chargesheet on the part of the ED. The judge said, “The allegations made by the ED, on face of it, appears incorrect. The version of the ED is not inspiring any confidence and is not worthy of reliance.
“The status report filed by ED is thus not worthy of reliance. This court has no hesitation in holding that no additional copy of fourth supplementary complaint was filed by ED with the ahlmad. Here, it also needs to be recorded that it has never been practice in the court to retain additional copy of complaint without mentioning it in the order sheet,” the judge observed.
The judge directed the ED director to take “necessary steps to ensure that no such incident is repeated in future in any matter whatsoever”.
The court further stated that it “need not go further into the issue regarding media getting access to the fourth supplementary complaint and whether the act of showing/giving supplementary complaint to media was deliberate act or was result of negligence or carelessness…”
Earlier, Michel had lashed out against the selective leaking of the chargesheet by the ED in the case, telling the court that he had “never named anybody” in connection with the chopper deal.
Urging the court to ask the ED as to how the chargesheet was leaked, the accused had contended before the court that the agency has “clandestinely provided a copy of the same to media houses, which are publishing the same in installments only to sensationalise the issue and prejudice the accused named, even before cognizance is taken by the court”.
In the chargesheet, ED has said: “The kickbacks paid by AgustaWestland was at least about 12 per cent of the contract amount: An amount of around Euro 70 million was paid through the two middlemen.”
The “two middlemen” was a reference to Michel and businessman Guido Haschke, also an accused.