AgustaWestland case: Summons issued to ex-Defence Secy, 4 ex-IAF officials; CBI court takes cognizance
After taking cognisance of the chargesheet, the Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court issued summons to all the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing.
A Special Court on Monday issued summons against former Defence Secretary and former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Shashi Kant Sharma and Four India Airforce (IAF) retired officials, taking cognisance of the CBI’s supplementary chargesheet filed in connection with Rs 3,600 crore in AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam case.
After taking cognisance of the chargesheet, the Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court issued summons to all the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing. On September 19, 2020, the CBI, had filed a supplementary charge sheet against 15 accused, including Michel and accused-turned-approver Rajiv Saxena, in connection with the alleged corruption in the VVIP chopper deal.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar on Tuesday issued summons against all accused named in the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court took cognizance of the charge sheet and directed all the accused to appear before it on April 28, 2022.
The CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet in this case on September 1, 2017 against the then IAF chief SP Tyagi and 11 other accused.
On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of paying kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.
The CBI has got a prosecution sanction against Shashi Kant Sharma. Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation had sought sanction from the government to prosecute former defence secretary and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma, in a case of alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.
The probe agency had also sought sanctions to prosecute former Air Vice Marshal and three other former Indian Air Force officials.
The AgustaWestland case is a corruption case that is being probed by CBI and ED. It has been alleged that bribes were paid during the UPA regime to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing Company Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore. Later in 2014, the said deal was scrapped by the NDA government.