Chopper scam : CBI questions Tyagi again

Tuesday, May 10, 2016,12:02 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | CBI on Monday questioned former Indian Air Force Chief S P Tyagi and two others in connection with alleged irregularities in the AgustaWestland Helicopter deal during which he was asked about alleged foreign remittances received by him.

CBI sources claimed that some foreign remittances were allegedly received by him in 2009 two years after his retirement which were the focus of questioning of Tyagi. They said he was asked about the source of these funds, reasons behind the remittances, and also his travels to Italy after his retirement.

The agency confronted him with account statements and sought to know the explanation. Refusing to reveal the amount or why CBI has not been able to dig into these details even three years after the registration of the case, the officials said they are looking at these issues with a new perspective after the Milan Court of Appeals order which had concluded that bribes were allegedly paid to clinch the deal.

It names Tyagi at several instances mentioning the meetings and interactions with alleged European middlemen and officials of Finmeccanica, parent firm of AgustaWestland. Tyagi has denied allegations of any corruption in the Helicopter deal.

The agency also questioned today Praveen Bakshi, CEO of Aeromatrix Infosolutions Pvt Limited and Pratap Aggarwal, Managing Director of IDS Infotech who are under scanner for allegedly helping the routing bribe amount from AgustaWestland to various suspected Indian beneficiaries. They claimed they were questioned about services provided by their companies to AgustaWestland.

CBI had registered a case against S P Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins, Bakshi, Aggarwal and European middlemen Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Chritian Michel. The allegation against S P Tyagi is that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.

Tyagi has denied allegations against him and said the change of specifications, which brought AgustaWestland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG and other departments were involved.