The Congress party on Wednesday fired lawyer Aljo K. Joseph from its legal cell after a controversy erupted over Joseph representing AgustaWestland chopper deal middleman Christian Michel James. “Aljo K. Joseph appeared in his personal capacity. He did not consult the Youth Congress before appearing in the case. The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) does NOT endorse such actions,” AICC Joint Secretary Krishna Allavaru said in a tweet.
The IYC has removed Aljo Joseph from IYC’s legal department and expelled him from the party with immediate effect,” Allavaru added. A controversy erupted over Joseph’s Congress connection after Suresh Nakhua, spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Mumbai unit, tweeted that Joseph, who appeared for Michel, was in-charge of the legal department of the Youth Congress.
“Any guesses who is lawyer for Christian Michel? Mr Aljo K. Joseph, national incharge, legal department, Indian Youth Congress,” Nakhua had tweeted. Soon after, Amit Malviya, BJP’s In-charge of national IT department tweeted: “Meet the Congressman who is going to defend AgustaWestland ‘middleman’ Christian Michel… Does it get more obvious than that?”
Reacting to it, Joseph accepted that he was associated with the Congress but clarified that he appeared in the case in his personal and professional capacity. “I am an advocate and appeared in my personal capacity. If somebody asks me to appear on his behalf, I have only discharged my duty as a lawyer. This has nothing to do with Congress. My relationship with Congress is separate and my professional relation is separate,” Joseph said.
Christian Michel James, wanted in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, was produced at a CBI court here on Wednesday after he was extradited to India on Tuesday night from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A CBI team escorted him to India in a special plane.