New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday began the questioning of former Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi in connection with the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam. The former IAF chief has also been issued summons by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
CNN-News18 has accessed the details of the line of CBI questioning of Tyagi. According to sources, the CBI is examining Tyagi on the various meetings he had with Agusta’s parent company Finmeccanica.
Of the various meeting Tyagi had with Finmeccanica, the first was in 2004 while there were two in 2005, wherein one happened at an airshow in Bengaluru where the company had set up a stall.
In 2006, Tyagi met the company’s representatives at his cousin Julie’s office in the national capital.
Tyagi met officials of Finmeccanica socially as well, said sources. The intention is to understand what went on in these meetings and whether criminality can be established about having favoured Agusta by using official position.
The ED had served summons to Tyagi after it was able to track alleged bribe money related to the AgustaWestland deal to two of Tyagi’s cousins.
Tyagi was the IAF Chief when the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal was struck and has been accused of tweaking requirements to favour the company. IThe agencies will also continue to question former deputy air chief JS Gujral in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that he will provide a detailed chronology of the AgustaWestland deal in Parliament on May 4.
“I will place the detailed chronology, giving facts about the chopper deal before Parliament on Wednesday. I will place the detailed chronology, giving how and when necessary clauses or provisions were relaxed to suit the company,” Parrikar had said.
“Those who received kickbacks will not leave behind the proof for us to prosecute them, but we will have to prove it,” he said.
“It is for us to prove everything now. Since the issue would be placed in Parliament, I would not like to speak in detail to media,” the Defence Minister further said.
“Why no action was taken against the company till 2014? Why was the company not blacklisted by then UPA government?” Parrikar questioned. “I challenge the Congress to show the UPA government’s order blacklisting the AgustaWestland company. Let them reply first why it was not banned. It was during our (NDA) government that we banned it,” he said.
Parrikar had recently challenged the Congress to show the order by the UPA government confirming the blacklisting.
AgustaWestland was not blacklisted during the UPA rule, top Modi government sources had recently claimed, asserting it was the NDA dispensation which had put on hold all acquisition proposals with the VVIP chopper scam-tainted firm.