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HC grants time to CBI, Michel to file reply on Tihar Jail plea against his phone calls

HC grants time to CBI, Michel to file reply on Tihar Jail plea against his phone calls

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday granted more time to Christian Michel, arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case, and the CBI to respond to a plea by Tihar Jail authorities challenging an order allowing him to make international phone calls for 15 minutes in violation of prison rules.

Michel, lodged in Tihar Jail, was also produced before Justice Mukta Gupta in pursuance to the court's earlier direction.

The court was informed by CBI's Special Public Prosecutor that the panel of lawyers has been changed and the counsel, who will now represent the agency, received the case file on Sunday and sought time to respond to the plea.

Michel's counsel also sought time to file his response saying he was not given the copy of the petition after which the court asked the advocate for jail authorities to provide him the plea. The court allowed the plea of counsel for CBI and Michel and granted them time to file their responses and listed the matter for further hearing on July 31.

Advocate Avi Singh, appearing for Tihar Jail, said the unequal treatment is continuing and due to this, other inmates have also started demanding the same.

The court had on March 18 asked the CBI and Michel to file their reply on the plea in which the jail authorities have alleged that no facts and circumstances were considered by the trial court for granting an "illegal and improper privilege of communication".

The trial court had in January allowed Michel to make international phone calls to to his family, friends and lawyers and he was granted 15 minutes a week for making calls.

The jail's counsel had earlier said the prison manual provided only for 10 minutes per week for making calls.

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