AgustaWestland chopper scam: Former Air Force chief SP Tyagi granted bail

SP Tyagi is accused of committing financial fraud in procuring 12 helicopters for the military from Italian firm Augusta Westland.

Former Air Chief SP Tyagi who was arrested in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore Agusta Westland VVIP choppers scam was granted bail on 26 December.

The Patiala House court has granted SP Tyagi a bail on Rs 2 Lakh security. The Court has also directed him not to leave Delhi NCR and to not tamper with the evidence.The Investigators from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had asked the court to extend the custody of SP Tyagi who has been accused of committing financial fraud in procuring 12 helicopters for the military from Italian firm Augusta Westland, a deal worth almost Rs 3,700 crore.

The lawyer for SP Tyagi, a war veteran, had argued against the CBI’s plea claiming that his client, being a war hero, shouldn’t be made to face humiliation by India’s premier investigative agency.

SP Tyagi had also blamed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office for irregularities.

Tyagi had retired in 2007 but was questioned and was under CBI’s radar ever since the reports of the Agusta Westland VVIP Chopper deal’s scam emerged. The CBI has also arrested Gautam Khetan and Sanjeev Tyagi in connection with the scam.

Besides Tyagi, businessman Gautam Khaitan and Delhi-based lawyer Sanjeev alias Julie Tyagi were also arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

According to the CBI, all the three people have been arrested on the allegations accepting illegal gratification for exercising influence through corrupt and or illegal means. The accused have been arrested under Section 120B, Section 420 IPC & Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; were called for questioning at CBI headquarters.

The CBI in its probe found that AgustaWestland received undue favours to clinch the deal. Tyagi is accused by the investigators of allegedly helping chopper manufacturing firm AgustaWestland clinch the Rs 3,600 crore deal by changing some specifications to favour his cousins.

In 2013, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government inked a deal with UK-based AgustaWestland for procuring 12 AW101 choppers meant for the Indian Air Force. These helicopters were purchased for ferrying the President, Prime Minister as well as other VVIPs.