SC notice to Centre, CBI in AgustaWestland deal [Read Petition]
The Supreme Court today issued notices to Centre and CBI on a Public Interest Litigation filed by a lawyer for prosecution of political leaders, defence officials named in the Italian court order in Augusta Westland case
The court sought the reply of centre and CBI within four weeks on the petition filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Former Air Chief SP Tyagi‘s brothers on Friday for questioning. Tyagi was grilled for the third consecutive day during which the he admitted to having financial interest in four companies.
On March 25, 2013, a probe was ordered by the then Union Defence Minister AK Antony and he also admitted that irregularities had taken place and that the CBI was probing the matter. As per allegations in the matter, the former Air Chief had reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft). AgustaWestland helicopters were thus termed unqualified for submission of bids.
Tyagi denied allegations against him and said that it was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG and other departments were involved.
The petition comes in the middle of a massive row in Parliament over the 3,600 crore deal for the supply of 12 choppers for use by top Indian leaders including the prime minister, which was signed when the Congress-led UPA was in power.
The helicopters are manufactured by AgustaWestland, whose parent company Finmeccanica is Italian; its top executives were investigated for corruption in Italy. The Italian court of Appeals has said that Agusta hired middlemen to pay bribes to decision-makers in India to swing the deal.
Read the petition here.