AgustaWestland: Christian Michel moved to high-security ward, court told
Christian Michel James has been moved to a high-security ward because of threat perception against him in the wake of the Pulwama attack, prison authorities informed a Delhi court on Tuesday.Updated: Mar 06, 2019 00:38 IST
Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal currently lodged in the Tihar Jail, has been moved to a high-security ward because of threat perception against him in the wake of the Pulwama attack, prison authorities informed a Delhi court on Tuesday.
“We had done a security assessment of the foreign nationals [lodged in Tihar], so that there is not a repetition of the attack like that on the Pakistani national [in the Jaipur Jail],” said Tihar Jail authorities.
On February 20, Pakistani national Shakir Ullah, lodged in Rajasthan’s Jaipur Central Jail, was allegedly murdered by other inmates. The incident took place in the wake of the Pulwama attack that was owned up by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Michel was arrested in the United Arab Emirates and then extradited to India on December 4. The British national, being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Agusta case, was shifted from Jail No. 7 to Jail No. 2 on February 18. While Jail no. 7 houses undertrials booked for economic offences, Jail No. 2 is for those convicted under National Security Act (NSA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Following this, Michel’s counsel Aljo K. Joseph and Sriram P had moved a plea in the court seeking a judicial inquiry into why he was shifted to a solitary cell in Tihar Jail without recording any reasons. The lawyers had also submitted that directions be issued to Tihar Jail authorities to shift Michel back to a normal cell from Jail No. 2.
The jail authorities submitted to the court on Tuesday that Michel can be shifted to Jail No. 1, 3 and 4, which are also high-security wards for undertrials while Jail No. 2 is for convicts. Michel’s lawyer, however, argued that his client should be kept in a normal cell and not in a high-security one as much of his liberty is curtailed in the name of security.