Former IAF chief, two others to be produced in court tomorrow: CBI

New Delhi [India], Dec. 9 : Former Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, his cousin and an advocate, who were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday in connection with an ongoing investigation to a case related to the alleged irregularities in the procurement of VVIPs helicopters, will be produced before a court tomorrow.

"The CBI has today arrested the then chief of the Air Staff, his cousin, who is a private person, and an advocate in an ongoing investigation to a case related to the alleged irregularities in the procurement of VVIPs helicopters," said CBI chief information officer Devpreet Singh.

"The arrested accused will be produced tomorrow before the competent court in Delhi. Further investigation is continuing," she added. Besides former IAF chief, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi, alias, Julie Tyagi, and a Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan were arrested in connection with irregularities in the AgustaWestland.

The trio was arrested on the charges of accepting illegal gratification for exercising influence through corrupt and illegal means during the deal.

The role of the UPA government and former IAF chief Tyagi in the scam is reportedly validated by an Italian court in the purchase of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for IAF for Rs 3,600-crores for VVIPs, including the President and the Prime Minister.

On April 8, the Milan Court of Appeals ruled that the Rs 3,565 crore AW contract involved payoffs to Indian officials.

Overturning a lower court judgement that said corruption could not be proved, the court of appeals found Giuseppe Orsi, the powerful former chief of Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini - who headed chopper division AW- guilty of international corruption and money laundering.

As per reports, prosecutors in the court produced a note purportedly written by Christian Michel to Peter Hullet, India head of the Anglo-Italian company, in 2008 revealing that he had advised the people handling the VVIP helicopter deal on the company's behalf to target people close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, including the prime minister and some of her closest advisers, to win the contract.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha on May 6, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the UPA regime left no stone unturned to award the VVIP chopper deal to AgustaWestland.

Parrikar said the previous regime's action against the deal was forced by circumstances and the inquiry into it was not initiated until it was unavoidable.

The Defence Minister said Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who are being repeatedly questioned by the CBI in the case, are small people and asked the government to find the big names who received the kickbacks in the deal.

Parrikar further said that procurement procedure was not followed in the deal, adding there were also discrepancies in the base price.

The Defence Minister further said UPA regime knew about the scam in February 2012, but still three helicopters were delivered in December.

He added that the CBI registered an FIR in the matter in March 2013, but the copy of FIR was not forwarded to the Enforcement Directorate till December.

Parrikar told the Upper House that the Enforcement Directorate took notice of the case only in July 2014 after the BJ-led NDA came into power.

Source: ANI