CBI’s petition challenging the bail granted to former IAF chief SP Tyagi in AgustaWestland chopper scam case on the ground that he could allegedly “hamper” the probe will be heard on January 9, the Delhi High Court today said. The plea filed by the probe agency came up before Justice IS Mehta, who fixed it for hearing on next Monday after Tyagi’s counsel said they would file a reply on the petition.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, told the court that their plea challenges the bail granted by a trial court to Tyagi on December 26. “This is a petition challenging grant of bail. On the last date, the high court had issued notice on the petition and had observed that today the endeavour will be to finish the matter. There is some urgency,” Mehta told the court.
To this, the court said, “renotify the matter for Monday for reply, if any, and disposal”.
On December 30, the high court had sought Tyagi’s response on CBI’s plea challenging his bail in the case. The agency had alleged that he could “hamper” its probe and “alert” other accused if he remained out of custody.
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71-year old Tyagi, who was arrested by CBI on December 9 along with Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in the case relating to alleged irregularities in procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based AgustaWestland during the UPA-2 regime, was granted bail by a trial court on December 26.
During the earlier hearing, the agency had claimed in the high court that if Tyagi remained out on bail, he could “alert other potential accused”.
The agency had also said that its probe was “multi-layered” as it was spread across several countries since various companies were allegedly used to “camouflage the bribe money”.
CBI had admitted before the high court that though FIR was registered in 2013, the “real core investigation started only a few months back” and therefore, it did not want Tyagi to be out on bail till the charge sheet is filed.
A trial court had granted bail to Tyagi, who had retired as IAF chief in 2007, saying CBI has failed to state the alleged bribe amount and when it was paid.
While granting the relief, the trial court also took note of Tyagi’s advancing age and his health conditions and said no purpose would be served by keeping him behind the bars.
CBI had earlier argued before the trial court that Tyagi had allegedly “abused his official position” and during his tenure as the air chief, he had made huge investments in land and other properties and not disclosed the source of his income.