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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

VVIP chopper scam: BJP wants SC to oversee probe

Agencies  New Delhi, February 14, 2013
First Published: 12:36 IST(14/2/2013) | Last Updated: 13:26 IST(14/2/2013)

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday demanded that the Supreme court oversee probe into the Rs. 3000 crore bribery deal to buy helicopters for VVIPs from an Italian firm.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said the party will ensure there's no cover-up of the scam.

"The probe will be completed in a time-bound manner and will show results only if it is monitored by the Supreme Court. Else there will be a cover-up," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

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The party indicated on Wednesday that it would raise the issue strongly in the coming session of Parliament. 

Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "It is a Bofors-like case. When bribe-giver has been caught, why can't the bribe-taker be identified. Till when will the Indian government save the bribe-takers. BJP will raise the issue seriously in the Budget Session of Parliament and seek a reply from the government to identify who the bribe-takers are and who are protecting them."

"There was Ottavio Quattrochhi from Italy who was involved in the Bofors scam. Several attempts were made  to protect him. This helicopter company is also from Italy. Was this a factor in no probe being done in the matter for the past one year?" added BJP's chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.


India on Wednesday put on hold a Rs. 3,000-crore deal to equip its armed forces with 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH).

It was found during the course of Italian investigations into the controversial VVIP helicopter deal that some serving and retired Indian military officers had offered to help swing the RSH deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

However, the firm was knocked out of the competition in the early stages of the process.

Defence ministry sources, however, said the defence acquisition council - headed by Antony - did not discuss the proposed RSH procurement as army chief General Bikram Singh was on an official tour to Japan.

Eurocopter's AS 350 Fennec and Russian Kamov 226 had been shortlisted for the tender. Highly placed sources said the tender could be scrapped.

The proposal to purchase RSH had come under the scanner due to some technical deviations from the tendering process.

Antony had said at the Aero India-2013 show last week that the DAC would decide the future of the proposed acquisition.


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