No question of arbitration in chopper deal case: Antony
There is 'no question' of India getting involved in the arbitration process initiated by AgustaWestland in its Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal, which is facing the threat of cancellation, defence minister AK Antony said in New Delhi today.india Updated: Nov 25, 2013 22:49 IST
There is "no question" of India getting involved in the arbitration process initiated by AgustaWestland in its Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal, which is facing the threat of cancellation, defence minister AK Antony said in New Delhi on Monday.
With this, India has made it clear that it will not be drawn into a legal battle with the Anglo-Italian firm in the chopper scam after the firm nominated former Supreme Court judge Justice BN Srikrishna for arbitration in the case.
"There is no question. Our stand is clear that there is no issue of arbitration. We have already given them a show cause notice and they have not replied so far. Let them reply. We will take a decision after they reply," he told reporters here.
Facing threat of cancellation of its deal, AgustaWestland had invoked the arbitration clause in the contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Air Force and nominated Srikrishna on its behalf on November 20.
A team of its officials had also met defence ministry officials to present its case in the chopper scam and denied any wrongdoing on its behalf.
The defence ministry has taken a stand against arbitration clause saying it does not apply to the pre-contract integrity pact which is signed by the ministry with its vendors.
Antony has already asserted that the firm had violated contractual obligations, for which the government had initiated action against it.
The firm has to reply to the final show-cause notice issued to it by the defence ministry by Tuesday after which the government will take a final decision on the deal.