Action if graft found in copter deal: Antony
“The second step (was) through the ministry of external affairs,” he said.
“Our government contacted the government of Italy and the government of the UK because AugustaWestland is a British company and the main shareholder is British. MEA wrote to both countries again,” he said. Asked if the scam would affect other deals under consideration with AugustaWestland and Finmeccanica, Antony said that would depend on the CBI report.
Antony sought to downplay a report on the alleged involvement of former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, during whose tenure the AugustaWestland deal was negotiated. He also denied the suggestion that the IAF's original requirements were modified to suit the Italian firm.
Asked if other deals with Finmeccanica including a Rs-500 crore deal for radars for the Indian Navy, would be affected, he said this would also depend on the CBI report.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid told reporters that India was in touch with authorities in Italy over the case and suggested that Italy was a better place to probe since the firm that produces helicopters operates out of that country.
“The government would do whatever was lawfully required in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal and provide the CBI any kind of assistance it needed,” Khurshid said.
The contract for helicopters was signed in February 2010. The IAF sought the choppers as a replacement for its Mi-17 cargo helicopters that have been modified for VVIP deployment. The Comptroller and Auditor General had made