Copter scam cannot take place without political patronage, alleges BJP
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 12:31
  
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday mounted pressure on the Congress-led UPA Government for a thorough probe in the VVIP chopper deal, and alleged that a corruption of such magnitude cannot happen without a political patronage.

Asserting that there must be some political leader involved in this corruption scam of VVIP chopper, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that is what the nation is now interested to know about because the Indian Government's efforts all the way for last one year always remained to hide the facts from the country and engage in deflection and more than that they decided to cover up the whole scam.

"They conducted an internal inquiry instead of public inquiry through CVC or anybody then they did not answer properly and correctly in the Parliament. Even our letters were unanswered and what is more serious is that they conducted an internal inquiry, which gave clean chit to the whole deal, and they declared that there is no foul play. So, one has to make accountable to the person who conducted those internal inquiries. The details must come out of the internal inquiry," said Javadekar.

" What are the findings? Who conducted it? When conducted? Whom they contacted? And how they came to the conclusion that there is no foul play. There has to be a stiff action against it, but basically I can say that without political patronage corruption of this magnitude cannot happen. And that is what the country is interested to know in," he added.

Despite the Ministry of Defence claiming that it had made all efforts to investigate the alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal, it has emerged that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had asked the ministry for a report last October, and is still waiting for a response.

The BJP earlier on Friday demanded a time-bound monitored probe into the matter, and said that the real issues were who finalised and signed the contract and the beneficiaries of the alleged kickbacks.

The Ministry of Defence has initiated action for the cancellation of contract for procurement of 12 AW101 helicopters for the use of VVIPs.

The MoD yesterday issued a formal show cause notice to the AgustaWestland of UK seeking cancellation of contract and taking other actions as per the terms of the contract and the Integrity Pact.

The MoD had already put on hold further payments to the company on Wednesday.

With the show cause notice, the operation of the contract has been put on hold.

The company has been asked to reply to the notice in seven days.

Defence Minister AK Antony had earlier on Wednesday said that strong action will be taken against those found guilty.

"Nobody will be spared whatever may be the consequences," he said.

The name of former Air Chief SP Tyagi has reportedly figured in the alleged scam, but he has stoutly refuted the bribery charge against him.

The copter scam has unfolded with the arrest of the head of a state-controlled Italian aerospace company.

Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi, who was arrested on Tuesday in Rome, had been under investigation for months and had denied any wrongdoing in the deal for the sale of 12 Augusta Westland helicopters to India in 2010.

The company is suspected of paying bribes of about Rs 362 crore in India to get orders for helicopters to ferry Indian VVIPs, prompting the government to order a CBI probe.

ANI


First Published: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 12:31


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