New Delhi: Former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi and two others were arrested on Friday in connection with alleged bribery in the VVIP chopper deal.
Along with Tyagi, his cousin Sanjiv alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan were also arrested.
“This is for first time a former IAF chief has been arrested by the central probe agency,” official sources said.
The former air chief has been repeatedly questioned on the deal with Agusta Westland, in which kickbacks were allegedly paid to Indian officials and politicians to influence the contract for a dozen VVIP choppers.
Retired Air Marshal Tyagi is accused by investigators in Italy and India of helping AgustaWestland win the Rs. 3,600 crore chopper contract by tailoring specifications at the instance of his cousins.
Investigations have revealed that it was in 2004 that the Tyagis entered into a consultancy deal with middlemen, when Air Marshal Tyagi’s cousins were certain that SP Tyagi would be the next air force chief and thus in a position to influence the deal.
On January 1, 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.
CBI had also got issued Letters Rogatory (judicial requests) to multiple countries to gather more leads and evidences in this case.