New Delhi: CBI is unlikely to give clearance to AgustaWestland, facing alleged bribery charges, for taking part in ‘Make in India' programme after the company made a request citing an Italian court order acquitting it on charges of international corruption in sale of VVIP choppers to India.
The Defence Ministry had been approached by the company, which was blacklisted by the previous UPA regime, with an authentic copy of an Italian court order acquitting it. The company had also made a request for participating in the ‘Make in India' programme.
The Defence Ministry passed on the authenticated court report and representation of the AgustaWestland company to the CBI seeking its comments, official sources said today. The sources said that it was not possible for the CBI to share any details with the Defence Ministry as of now as the agency was still pursuing the money trail and that replies to Letters Rogatory(LR) were still pending.
AgustaWestland is an Anglo-Italian helicopter design and manufacturing company, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica. It was formed in July 2000 when owners of Agusta and Westland Helicopters merged to form the group.
The company had bagged contract for supply of helicopters for carrying VVIPs which was cancelled after reports of money changing hands surfaced in Italy. The UPA government blacklisted the company and ordered a CBI probe into the case.
The agency has recorded statements of senior officials of the previous regime which included former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and former SPG Chief B V Wanchoo.
The agency has sent LRs to authorities of the United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and British Virgin Island in connection with its probe into the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter deal scam in August last year.
Execution of these LRs was still awaited and the CBI teams were continuously following it through their Embassies in these countries, the sources said.
The LRs to these countries for collection of documents and bank account details related to the case in which retired Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi and various others were named as accused in the FIR.
Tyagi and others which included his cousins have denied any wrongdoing and have been citing the Italian court order in their support.
Besides Tyagi, his cousins Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep, European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke are among the 13 individuals named as accused in the CBI's FIR.
Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt Ltd and its CEO Praveen Bakshi are also accused in the case. Legal advisor and former board member of accused firm IDS Infotech, Gautam Khaitan and Bakshi had allegedly routed bribe money to the Tyagis, CBI had claimed in its FIR.
CBI, in its FIR, has booked all the accused under the provisions of the IPC relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The sources said that the Italian court may have dropped the international corruption charges against the company but the agency still needs to pursue certain leads before deciding on the case.