A day after ex-Air Force SP Tyagi blamed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office for the Agusta Westland scam, reports suggest that both he and his principal secretary & national security advisor of the time are likely to be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).As per reports by News 18, ex-CBI Director Ranjit Sinha & ex-CBI Spl Director Salim Ali also likely to be quizzed.
Yesterday, SP Tyagi and two other accused were sent to four-day custody of the CBI. The three accused were arrested by the investigating agency on Friday in connection with the R3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case.It was for the first time, a chief of any of the three defence services who have been arrested in any investigation in the alleged scam in defence procurement.
As reported by The Indian Express on February 13, 2013, Italian investigators at first alleged that the Tyagis received bribes to shift the deal in favour of AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, by tweaking technical requirements of the tender. Lawyer-businessman Gautam Khaitan, one of the three, who was sent to the four-day custody yesterday, was allegedly the main cog in a money-laundering wheel that facilitated the movement of bribes through a maze of companies.
In 2010, India had signed a deal with AgustaWestland International Ltd for supply of 12 AW 101 VVIP helicopters at price of Rs c3726.96 crore. The then government scrapped the contract in 2014 “on grounds of breach of the pre-contract integrity pact and the agreement”
Tyagi brothers and Khaitan were called for questioning Friday morning and were arrested in the afternoon after they did not cooperate in the probe.