New Delhi: Amid the row over AgustaWestland VVIP chopper bribery scandal, a report claimed on Thursday that Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica has yet to be formally banned by India.
The Times of India reported that Finmeccanica, parent company of the UK-based AgustaWestland, and its subsidiaries have still not been formally blacklisted by the Indian government.
This despite the fact that no new arms deals are being inked with them, the report added.
As per sources in the Defence Ministry, the firms can be formally blacklisted only after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the VVIP chopper scam, files a chargesheet in court or reaches a “certain point” in the probe into the kickbacks case.
The Rs 3,546 crore deal to purchase 12 VVIP choppers was signed with AgustaWestland in 2010.
In Parliament, the ruling BJP and main opposition Congress have fought over the blacklisting of AgustaWestland.
Congress has claimed that the erstwhile UPA government, led by it, had initiated the process to ban AgustaWestland following revelations of bribe being paid in the purchase of choppers for the VVIP fleet.
The BJP-led NDA government has, however, said that the firm was formally banned soon after it took over in May 2014.