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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

CBI to question ex-IAF chiefs on VVIP copters

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 19, 2013
First Published: 00:28 IST(19/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:17 IST(19/2/2013)

The CBI will seek clarifications from three former air force chiefs as part of its probe into alleged payment of kickbacks to Indian nationals and companies by an Italian firm to clinch the VVIP chopper deal.

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The clarifications will be sought once the agency acquires sufficient details to upgrade the complaint it filed last week to a preliminary enquiry or a regular case.

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“The key steps in the  deal occurred across the tenure of three air force chiefs, in the period between January 2005 to January 2010 that the probe will cover and scrutinise,” said an agency source.

The source said, “While the Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued to six vendors in September, 2006, the field evaluation trials were undertaken from January 2008 to February 2008, and the deal was approved in January 2010.”

“The versions of the three former chiefs will help the agency in establishing irregularities, if any, occurred and at what level,” source said.

The source said, “Files submitted by the ministry of defence pertaining to the acquisition of the choppers were clean. They showed that there were no procedural lapses or irregularities.”

Ex-air chief SP Tyagi, is one of the three former air force chiefs whose tenure will be scrutinised by the CBI.


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