New Delhi, Dec 17: Former Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief SP Tyagi and others accused in the Rs. 3,600 Crore VVIP chopper AgustaWestland scam are to be produced before Patiala House court on Saturday as the custody of CBI ends. Tyagi was arrested by CBI on December 9, along with two associates on the allegations of accepting illegal gratification for exercising influence through corrupt or illegal means.
Tyagi took over as the IAF chief on December 31, 2005 and retired from service in 2007. Apart from him, the other accused are Sanjeev Tyagi, aka, Julie Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan. Both Tyagi and Khaitan are Delhi-based lawyers. The allegation against SP Tyagi is that he allegedly reduced the height of the VVIP helicopters so that AgustaWestland could be included in the bids.
The Indian Government on January 1, 2014 scrapped a contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 VVIP helicopters to the Indian Air Force. The scrapping of the contract was a consequence of alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks of Rs. 423 crore by it to secure the deal.
According to a December 9 The Times of India report, initially in the CBI investigation into the scam found that the ex-IAF chief has indeed accepted bribe from middlemen and his cousins were given money.
Earlier in April 2016, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also summoned Tyagi in connection with its money-laundering investigation in the Rs. 3,600 crore chopper scam. Also in 2014, the ED named 21 people including SP Tyagi and registered a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act in this regard.