VVIP Chopper deal: Court issues Letter Rogatory to Mauritius

A special court on Wednesday issued a Letter Rogatory (LR) to the competent authority in Mauritius to assist the CBI in its probe into the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case.

PTI| Updated: Oct 07, 2015, 16:24 PM IST

New Delhi: A special court on Wednesday issued a Letter Rogatory (LR) to the competent authority in Mauritius to assist the CBI in its probe into the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal case.

Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain allowed the plea filed by the agency, seeking issuance of LR (a letter of formal request from a court to a foreign court) to Mauritius for assistance in its probe and collection of documents relating to the case.

The court on September 24 had issued an open non-bailable warrant against British national Christian Michel James, an accused in the case who is absconding, after the CBI said he was required for questioning to ascertain crucial aspects in the matter.

Former IAF chief SP Tyagi, his cousins -- Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep, European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel James and Guido Haschke are among 13 individuals named as accused in the CBI FIR.

CBI, in its FIR, has booked all the accused under the provisions of IPC relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In its FIR, CBI has alleged that during his tenure as the Air Chief, Tyagi, and "with his approval", the Air Force had "conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6000 metres to 4500 metres as mandatory", which it was opposing vehemently on the grounds of security constraints and other reasons.

It had claimed that the reduction of service ceiling -- the maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally -- had allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to get into the fray as, otherwise its choppers were not qualified for submission of bids.