A Red Corner Notice was issued against him in 2017. While BJP claimed it as a big win for the Narendra Modi government, Congress' Salman Khurshid targeted CBI of looking for someone who could implicate leaders of his party.
The operation code-named "Unicorn" was carried out under the guidance of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and being coordinated by interim CBI Director M Nageswar Rao, the CBI spokesperson said. He reached the CBI headquarters at 1:38am.
It is believed that the extradition of Michel to India is likely to create more trouble for the Gandhi family as the scam had taken place during the UPA regime and it was alleged that due to political intervention, specifications were changed to favour the Italian firm AgustaWestland and keep other competitors out of the bid.
According to Indian investigative agencies, James had received at least Rs 235 crore for ensuring that the chopper contract went to AgustaWestland.
The CBI alleges that he operated as a middleman for defence procurement through a wide network of sources cultivated in the Air Force and the Defence Ministry at different levels, including retired officials.
On 9 December 2016, the CBI arrested former Indian Air Force Chief S.P. Tyagi along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan.
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He also rejected the United Kingdom government's position that the case is purely hypothetical and therefore inadmissible. A final ruling on the case is due to be made at a later date.
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James is one of three middlemen being probed in the case by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the scam.
This allegedly allowed AgustaWestland to come into the picture as its helicopters earlier did not qualify for the submission of bids, and subsequently bag a €556.26 million contract from India on 8 February 2010.
In July 2006, at a meeting in Italy's Cascina Costa, Mr. Lunardi - in the presence of Mr. Orsi - proposed that the accused would join the other two middlemen in carrying out the scouting and monitoring work for the deal.
Initially, the investigation conducted by Italian authorities indicted him for offences of global bribery and corruption, following which the CBI too started a probe against him.
The ED investigation found that remittances made by Michel through his Dubai-based firm Global Services to a media firm he floated in Delhi, along with two Indians, were made from the funds which he got from AgustaWestland through criminal activity and corruption being done in the chopper deal that led to the subsequent generation of proceeds of crime.
A charge sheet was filed against him in September a year ago.
The CBI's extradition request was forwarded to the UAE authorities on March 19, 2017, through diplomatic channels.