Agusta sends notice to Defence Ministry on arbitration

Facing threat of cancellation of its Rs 3,600 crore deal, AgustaWestland is understood to have sent a notice to Defence Ministry.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 10, 2013, 21:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Facing threat of cancellation of its Rs 3,600 crore deal, AgustaWestland is understood to have sent a notice to Defence Ministry asking it to get involved in the arbitration process initiated by it.

The Defence Ministry has so far rejected the plea for arbitration by the firm and refused to be drawn into a legal battle with it.

The notice issued by the Anglo Italian firm has been received by the ministry recently in which it is learnt to have asked the government to get involved into the arbitration process failing which it will take up the issue at an international forum, sources said.

The notice comes soon after Defence Minister A K Antony said there was "no question" of India getting involved in the arbitration process initiated by AgustaWestland.

AgustaWestland had initiated the arbitration proceedings on October 4 and later nominated former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna for arbitration in the case.

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.