VVIP chopper scam: CBI to quiz former Air vice Marshal NV Tyagi, Gautam​ Khaitan

The CBI on Wednesday grilled former IAF chief SP Tyagi for the third consecutive day, besides quizzing Khaitan.

ANI| Last Updated: May 05, 2016, 09:14 AM IST
VVIP chopper scam: CBI to quiz former Air vice Marshal NV Tyagi, Gautam​ Khaitan

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will question former Air Vice Marshal NV Tyagi and advocate and former board member of Aeromatrix Gautam Khaitan on Thursday in connection with the controversial Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal.

The CBI yesterday grilled former IAF Chief SP Tyagi for the third consecutive day, besides quizzing Khaitan.

SP Tyagi admitted to have financial interest in three companies- Banshi, Anuras and Shavan.

CBI sources said they were looking into links among Tyagi, his brothers, Khaitan and company and middleman, through whom the bribe was routed to India.

The CBI is also looking into Tyagi's international visits after his retirement and his bank accounts and assets.

Khaitan, who joined the CBI investigation, claimed that during questioning he admitted to have setting IDS Tunisia.

According to sources, IDS Tunisia is a subsidiary of IDS India, one of the companies through which the alleged bribe was routed by AgustaWestland middlemen to other countries.

Khaitan during his questioning was confronted with records of the companies that he allegedly had set-up before 2010.

Meanwhile, the CBI yesterday conducted raids at the Gurgaon residence of Tyagi.

CBI sleuths also conducted searches in 12 places in Delhi, Gurgaon and Chandigarh in connection with the alleged scam.

Satish Bagrodia, the brother of former union minister Santosh Bagrodia, has also been named in the FIR.

The CBI team had registered a preliminary enquiry on the basis of some important documents that it had obtained from Italian probe agencies in connection with the alleged payment of kickbacks by AgustaWestland to bag the chopper deal. A complete case would be registered once sufficient evidence is procured.

The Defence Ministry had earlier threatened to cancel the chopper deal and sought a CBI probe after the CEO of AgustaWestland's parent company, Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, was arrested in Italy for his role in paying bribes.

The CBI had registered a case against Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.

Tyagi has denied allegations against him and said the change of specifications, which brought AgustaWestland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG and other departments were involved.