In the backdrop of alleged VVIP chopper deal scam, the Defence Ministry on Tuesday barred scam-tainted Italian defence firm Finmeccannica from participating in future tenders while deciding to carry out ongoing contracts with the group and its subsidiary AgustaWestland, more than a month after putting all deals on hold.
Goa Governor BV Wanchoo has said he was "pleased" to have given CBI his statement in connection with the alleged bribery scandal in the VVIP helicopter deal and hoped that the agency would now bring the truth out in the case at the earliest.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will review the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal with the ministry preparing a presentation for him on the procurement which was scrapped after allegations of bribery and payment of kickbacks.
The government`s move to blacklist Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland in the wake of bribery allegations in VVIP helicopter deal is set to be delayed with Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran advising against any immediate action.
BJP on Sunday hit out at Sonia Gandhi over claims that an alleged middlemen in the VVIP chopper scam had asked a contact in India to "target" the Congress chief and her advisors to clinch the deal, saying it was a repeat of the Bofors scam and the issue will be raised in parliament.
One of the alleged middlemen in the VVIP chopper scam had asked a contact in India to target UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then NSA MK Narayanan to bag the deal, according to a document submitted in Italian court.
With references to politicians and bureaucrats coming up in the chopper scam trial in Italy, the Defence Ministry is expected to seek clarifications on the issue from alleged middleman Guido Haschke during the next hearing of the case there.
There is "no question" of India getting involved in the arbitration process initiated by AgustaWestland in its Rs 3,600 crore chopper deal, which is facing the threat of cancellation, Defence Minister AK Antony said here on Monday.
Facing threat of cancellation of its deal, AgustaWestland told the Defence Ministry it was not involved in any wrongdoing in securing the Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the IAF.