Responding to defence ministry's notice: Finmeccanica



New Delhi: Facing allegations of paying bribes to bag the Rs 3,600 crore deal for supplying 12 helicopters to India, Italian company Finmeccanica Thursday said it is responding to the show cause notice issued by the Indian defence ministry.

The deadline for sending the reply ends tomorrow evening. In the notice, the Defence Ministry has asked the company why the contract should not be cancelled in view of the bribery charges faced by it.

"With reference to the Indian Ministry of Defence's request for information regarding the AW101 contract, received last week, AgustaWestland confirms it is responding to the notice in the spirit of full cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Defence," the firm said in a statement.

It said it "has confirmed that its conduct has been fully compliant with the rules which regulate the AW101 helicopters contract signed with India".

AgustaWestland said the Rs 3,600 crore contract was "was awarded to it following a comprehensive technical and flight evaluation of competing types performed by the IAF in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

"This evaluation demonstrated that the AW101 was the only aircraft able to fully meet the Indian Air Force's operational requirements, as already confirmed by the Indian Authorities in different occasions."

The Defence Ministry issued the show cause notice to the firm after the arrest of Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini by Italian authorities in connection with allegations of kickbacks of Rs 362 crore paid by the firm to secure the deal.

PTI