New Delhi, Dec 17: Former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief S P Tyagi, along with two other accused in the AgustaWestland scam – businessman Sanjeev ‘Julie’ Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, have been sent to judicial custody till December 30. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), conducting the inquiry against them, presented a tight case before the Patiala House Court, compelling the bench to order judicial custody till December 30. Patiala House Court will rehear the matter on December 21.

According to news channel NDTV, Tyagi’s wife reportedly broke down after the court’s order. The family of the ex IAF chief has alleged conspiracy, and went ahead to accuse the ruling government of making arrest under false pretext to divert attention from demonetisation.

In an interesting twist to AgustaWestland case, Italy’s Supreme Court ordered retrial in the VVIP chopper scandal. An Italian Appeals’ Court had pronounced Giuseppe Orsi, the former CEO of Finmeccanica (parent firm of AgustaWestland), along with Bruno Spagnolini, the ex chief of AgustaWestland, of offering bribe to Indian officials and bureacrats. The range of bribe circulated is reported to be Rs 434 crores. The contract, inked in 2010, was worth Rs 3,767 crores.

The deal was abrogated in 2013, after the Italian agencies found irregularity in the manner in which Finmeccanica secured the contracts for 12 AW 101 Helicopters. The UPA government, subsequently ordered a CBI probe in the matter.

Tyagi, the then IAF chief, is accused of accepting bribe from middlemen linked to Finmeccanica, to reduce the flying ceiling. Originally, the flying ceiling was pegged at 6,000 metres. It was later reduced to 4,500 metres to allow AgustaWestland to become a participant in the contract bidding process.