AgustaWestland: SC tells Centre to look into plea demanding probe against scribes
The court has already rejected a special investigation team probe into the kickbacks after the Centre submitted that a CBI probe was on in the case.india Updated: Jan 11, 2017 00:28 IST
The Supreme Court asked the Centre on Tuesday to look into a petition seeking a court-monitored probe against journalists who allegedly received kickbacks in AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scam.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra did not issue any formal notice, but Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was provided with a copy of the public interest petition filed by journalist Hari Jaisingh and told to come back with a response after six weeks.
The court has already rejected a special investigation team probe into the kickbacks after the Centre submitted that a CBI probe was on in the case.
Jaisingh wants central agencies to submit a report to the top court in a sealed cover, giving details of the status of the investigation. The petition also sought a commission of inquiry led by a retired Supreme Court judge.
The petition alleged “Finmeccanica (the parent company of AgustaWestland) a group of Indian journalists on a fully paid for trip to Italy”. The petition said an individual in Delhi acted as the company’s representative and was asked to be a “facilitator” to ensure “smooth disbursement of funds allocated for managing key Indian officials and several influential members of the media”.
A proposal to acquire 12 helicopters for VVIPs was cleared in 2010 by the Cabinet Committee on Security after a long process that involved change in parameters, evaluation and negotiations. The Air Force’s Communication Squadron was meant to use the helicopters, but the deal was later cancelled.