The Punjab Congress has demanded a probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into the R38-crore helicopter deal by the SAD-BJP government.
State Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira alleged that the Parkash Singh Badal government had violated norms and hurriedly procured quotations from four international manufacturers and selected Bell Textron Co, for the purchase of a 429 model helicopter.
Khaira said a similar 429 Bell helicopter was also bought by Satyajit Majithia, the father-in-law of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, for his Orbit Aviation Private Limited company. He said the government did not find it appropriate to call for global tenders before making the purchase.
The Congress leader claimed Sukhbir had hurriedly constituted a five-member sub-committee under the chief secretary on April 4, 2012. On the morning of April 10, 2012, the Chief Secretary held a meeting seeking the approval of the government and on the same day the Chief Minister accorded approval to the purchase of the helicopter.
In order to complete the formality, four quotations for helicopter purchase were procured from companies namely, Sirkozky Co. 11.50 for million US $, Eurocopter Ltd. for 11.50 million Euros, Doffin N-3 for 9.00 million Euros and Bell Textron Co. for 6.7 million US $.
The sub-committee headed by the Chief Secretary approved the purchase of 429 Bell helicopter on account of its low price and good qualities, without putting on record merits or demerits of the other helicopters available in the market in the proceedings.
The govt. has offered other lame arguments for the purchase of Bell helicopter, that it had to be purchased as the state govt. was spending 16-17 crores annually on leasing helicopters.
The government has willfully and knowingly flouted the recent Supreme Court judgments in the 2G scam and the Coalgate scam, wherein strictures have been passed against the Central government for adopting discretionary allocations ignoring competitive bidding.