New Delhi: A special CBI Court in Delhi on Thursday dismissed the interim bail application of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in AgustaWestland case, which sought on religious grounds. Special Judge Arvind Kumar refused to grant the seven-day interim bail to Michel which he sought to celebrate Easter with family.

Opposing Michel’s plea, special Public Prosecutor DP Singh, who appeared for the CBI and the ED, said that India is a country with many festivals and thousands of prisoners have faith in various religions. The accused, therefore, can’t be allowed to go out of jail to celebrate festivals. Singh added that Michel can participate in Easter in the custody.

Further, Singh argued that if Michel comes out on interim bail and makes some statement relating to the case, it would derail the investigation. Michel’s lawyer argued that since the charge sheet has been filed, there is no point of tampering evidence. He said the accused is cooperating in the case.”Being a Christian, he was not even allowed to offer a holy mass even during Christmas…,” said the application moved by the accused.

Michel’s plea read: “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 ED filed a supplementary charge sheet against Michel and others on April 4. He was arrested by ED on December 22 after his extradition from Dubai. He is among the three alleged middlemen being probed in the chopper scam by ED and Central Bureau of Investigation. Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa are the two others. In a chargesheet filed on September 1, 2017, the CBI had named Michel as one of the accused.

(With agency inputs)