The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal. Two others, Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan and S P Tyagi’s cousin, Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie Tyagi, have also been arrested.
What is AgustaWestland scam?
Subramanian Swamy had explained what the scam is, during a debate in Rajya Sabha in May this year, targeting the Congress and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
He had said, “....This has got nothing to do with vendetta. We are at an early stage of prosecution and therefore three things have to be made clear.
“What are the admitted facts that they also can’t deny? What is the criminality? How do we proceed now on the basis of what we know?”
Swamy did not taken Sonia Gandhi’s name at the time, but he did not mince his words either. He referred to her as “a super cabinet” and a “higher authority than then PM Dr Singh” as he alleged that there is plenty of evidence to prove that Sonia Gandhi was a principal player in the scam, an allegation both she and her party have aggressively denied.
“The admitted facts are the CAG report, the Italian HC judgment. Yes it is true that the NDA had initiated the process of buying the 8 new helicopters but the objective was that the VVIP’s be able to fly to the remote areas. . .
“The aircraft you are buying, they have to be subjected to field trials. But they (UPA govt.) used some other helicopter. They also conducted the testing in Italy, which I don’t have an objection to but why use another helicopter to do these trials. This is a corrupt act.
“Another corrupt act: The original proposal was to buy 8 helicopters. After it became clear that AgustaWestland was the only one to qualify, they decided to buy four more. What was the need for these additional four? Who were these extra VVIP’s which needed it? An excess of Rs 1200 crore was spent.
“The airforce gave a benchmark of Rs 793 crore and it was approved by Mr Antony. But a contract negotiation company rejected that benchmark and gave another number Rs 4877.5 crore. Who is responsible for overruling AK Antony’s benchmark. Surely it wasn’t Manmohan Singh.
Here are some other points that were made by Swamy:
- CAG says that the helicpoters which were bought in 1988 were hardly utilised, then what was need for new ones?
- Original proposal was to buy 8 helicopters, after it became clear that Agusta was the only one to qualify, they decided to buy 4 more.
- Field tests were not conducted on AW101, supposed to be used for VVIP, but on some other choppers
- There was a clear effort to eliminate all other companies so that only Agusta would fit the required criteria.
You can watch the video here
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