India

AgustaWestland: CBI arrests former Air Chief SP Tyagi

09 Dec 2016 | Written by NewsBytes Desk; Edited by Vaneet Randhawa
The AgustaWestland chopper scandal

The CBI has arrested former Air Chief SP Tyagi in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper-case.

Tyagi allegedly reduced the height of the VVIP helicopters so that AgustaWestland could be included in the bids.

A Delhi based lawyer, Gautam Khaitan and another individual, Sanjeev Tyagi have also been arrested.

The three were arrested on allegations of accepting illegal gratification for exercising influence through corrupt means.

In context: The AgustaWestland chopper scandal

What is the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal?

In February 2010, India signed an agreement with AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italian defence conglomerate Finmeccanica for 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters, beating off competition from US rival Sikorsky to get the deal.

25 Apr 2016Skeletons of the Finmeccanica deal come to haunt Congress

In April 2016, Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini of Finmeccanica were sentenced by a Milan appeals court in a graft case involving 12 VVIP choppers' sale to India for Rs.3,600 crore.

India's Defense Minister AK Antony ordered a probe into the contract after a Milan Court of Appeals released a 225-page judgment and said that 'corruption' took place between Congress government and Finmeccanica.

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The driving force behind the deal

The court reportedly described how Finmeccanica bribed senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, MK Narayanan, and ex-PM Manmohan Singh to strike the Rs. 3600cr chopper deal. The judge described Sonia Gandhi as the 'driving force behind the' deal.

30 Apr 2016ED summons ex-Air chief Tyagi for questioning

The ex-Air Force chief SP Tyagi has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with money-laundering probe in the Rs. 3,600cr AgustaWestland-chopper scam.

The Enforcement Directorate maintained that it had identified politicians, bureaucrats, IAF officers and other beneficiaries of the kickbacks in 'Choppergate' who would soon be questioned.

This is the first time an ex- Chief of Staff has been called for questioning.

Who is Christian Mitchel?

Mitchel is among the 3 non-Indian middlemen who was named by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in their individual investigations of taking commissions worth €70 million from AgustaWestland to bribe Indians who assisted in inking the deal.

09 Dec 2016AgustaWestland: CBI arrests former Air Chief SP Tyagi

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26 Dec 2016Former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi granted bail

Former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi who was arrested in connection with the AgustaWestland scam, was granted bail by the Patiala House Court; Tyagi was asked to furnish a Rs.2 lakh security bond and not leave the country.

The CBI opposed the bail, arguing that the accused may influence witnesses.

The court will consider bail pleas of other accused on 4 January.

23 Feb 2017AgustaWestland: Delhi HC defers hearing CBI plea

The Delhi High Court has deferred a hearing on a plea by the CBI, challenging the bail granted to former Air Chief SP Tyagi, accused in the AgustaWestland case.

The court granted bail to Tyagi, saying the CBI failed to produce substantial amounts of evidence regarding his role in the scam.

Tyagi's cousin Sanjeev and his lawyer Gautam Khaitan were also granted bail.

10 Mar 2017AgustaWestland: SC dismisses plea to probe media

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by journalist Hari Jaisingh seeking to probe the media's role in the AgustaWestland case. Jaisingh alleged that media-persons were bribed by AgustaWestland to influence policy makers.

The court said that the media could be investigated if a direct link is established.

It also said such an investigation would curtail the rights of the media.