No wrong in media publishing supplementary chargesheet: ED on AgustaWestland chopper deal casehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/media-supplementary-chargesheet-ed-agustawestland-chopper-deal-case-5673474/

No wrong in media publishing supplementary chargesheet: ED on AgustaWestland chopper deal case

The agency made the submissions in response to a plea by British-national Christian Michel, alleged middleman arrested in the case, who accused the ED of politicising the matter by leaking the documents to the media.

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THE ENFORCEMENT Directorate (ED) told a Delhi court on Friday that there was nothing wrong if media houses have published or broadcast the contents of the supplementary chargesheet in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

The agency made the submissions in response to a plea by British-national Christian Michel, alleged middleman arrested in the case, who accused the ED of politicising the matter by leaking the documents to the media.

“It was a public document filed in the court and there was nothing wrong if someone accessed it. It is not that nobody was entitled to get a copy. The cognisance was already taken,” the ED’s counsel said, denying the charge that the agency had leaked the documents.

The agency also sought dismissal of the application filed by Michel and said that “this (leaking of chargesheet) is not going to affect anyone’s right”.

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Michel’s lawyer had last week requested special judge Arvind Kumar to order an inquiry into the alleged leakage of the chargesheet to media.

In his application, Michel’s lawyer had told the court that the copy of the chargesheet was provided to the media before being given to the accused.

The court, meanwhile, directed the ‘ahlmad’ (court staff) to file a report containing information related to the chargesheet, including how many copies were filed by the agency.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on April 20 after the accused sought time to submit documents in response to the reply filed by the ED to his application.

The chargesheet filed recently added three new names to the list of accused, taking the count of individuals and firms that stand accused to 41.

Michel moved the court a day after the ED filed its supplementary chargesheet, informing that “kickbacks were paid to defence officials, bureaucrats, media persons and important political persons of the ruling party”.