New Delhi, Sept 1: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed the chargesheet in the AgustaWestland case on Friday. The former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi, along with eight others were booked by the probing agency.
The chargesheet, filed before the Special CBI Court in Delhi, names Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev alias Julie and advocate Gautam Khaitan as co-accused.
According to reports, four among those whose names are included in the FIR are foreign nationals, linked to the middlemen Bruno Spagnolini, who played the key role in getting Finmeccanica, the parent company of AgustaWestland, to bag the Rs 3,767 crore chopper contract in 2010.
Tyagi was earlier arrested by the CBI on December 9, after finding incrementing evidence against him. He was accused of deliberately lowering the flight ceiling from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres to meet the operational capacity of AgustaWestland.
The ex-IAF chief, however, was later granted bail. During the course of interrogation, the 71-year-old had put the onus on the then UPA-government, claiming to have been directed by the then PMO to lower the ceiling height.
According to CBI, Khaitan, the Delhi-based lawyer, was one of the “masterminds” in the bribery scandal. He, along with Sanjeev, were linked to the middlemen of Finmeccanica, and played a key role in the transfer of graft amount to the officials involved. However, both are currently on bail.
The scam was unearthed in 2013, after an Italian court found that Finmeccanica had bagged the contract from the Indian government by paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 434 crores to influential “politicians and officials”.
Subsequently, the then government led by Dr Manmohan Singh cancelled the order of 12 AW101 VVIP choppers and ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter.