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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Agusta chopper deal: CBI questions Goa governor

PTI  New Delhi, July 04, 2014
First Published: 14:19 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:35 IST(4/7/2014)

Carrying on with its probe into allegations of over Rs. 360 crore bribe paid in the purchase of VVIP helicopters, the CBI on Friday recorded statement of Goa governor BV Wanchoo as a "witness".

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His questioning comes a week after former West Bengal governor MK Narayanan was quizzed by the CBI after which he demitted his office.

CBI team quizzed Wanchoo in Panaji and recorded his statement for its probe into allegations of bribery in the Rs. 3600-crore VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland firm.

The sources said the need to record statements of Wanchoo and Narayanan was felt as both had participated in the meeting in 2005 that allowed key changes in the technical specifications of the chopper.

CBI had registered a case against former IAF chief SP Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen in the case.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he had reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter so that AgustaWestland was included in the bids. Tyagi has refuted the allegation against him.

CBI has alleged reduction of the service ceiling--maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally--allowed the UK-based firm to get into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.

CBI claims the parameters regarding the height at which the helicopter can fly as well as the flight evaluation were changed in a manner that enabled AgustaWestland to clinch the deal vis-a-vis its competitor Sikorsky.


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