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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Chopper deal: CBI seeks more documents from defence ministry

PTI  New Delhi, March 25, 2013
First Published: 20:27 IST(25/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:28 IST(25/3/2013)

CBI will be seeking more documents from the defence ministry including its internal probe into alleged kickbacks by UK-based AgustaWestland to clinch 12 VVIP helicopter deal.

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CBI sources said a meeting in this regard with the officials of the defence ministry is likely to take place soon where these documents could be handed over to the agency.

The sources said the defence ministry has assured the agency to provide details of an internal inquiry which was conducted to go into allegations of kickbacks and the suspected involvement of some officials.

They said the ministry has reportedly carried out an inquiry and issued some show cause notices to its officials, suspected to have played role in the deal, which might also be shared with the agency very soon.

The sources said the agency is planning to start questioning in connection with the FIR filed by it in the alleged bribe given by AgustaWestland and Italy-based Finmeccanica to clinch the Rs. 3600 crore deal.

They said the agency is analysing documents recovered during searches conducted by it besides other records to finalise a line of questioning and it might begin soon.

On March 13, CBI registered a case against air chief marshal (retd) S P Tyagi, along with 12 others, for alleged cheating, corruption and criminal conspiracy in the deal.

The CBI alleged that during his tenure as air chief, the air force agreed "to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres as mandatory to which it was opposing vehemently on the grounds of security constraints and other related reasons," an agency source said.

It alleged that reduction of service ceiling-maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to come into the fray as otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for bidding.


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