Investigators from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have asked the court to extend the custody of a former Indian Air Force pilot 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, however, argued against the CBI’s plea on Wednesday, claiming that his client, being a war hero, shouldn’t be made to face humiliation by India’s premier investigative agency.
The CBI also sought custody of two other accused who are also alleged to be involved in the whole affair.
The Delhi-based Patiala House court which is hearing the high-profile case had on Saturday sent all the accused, including Tyagi, to a four-day judicial custody so that they could be properly interrogated.
The CBI told the court that their team had managed to track down evidence in Switzerland, Italy and a host of other nations till now.
According to media reports, the CBI believes that Rs 450 crore out of 3,767 crore, the deal’s total worth, was paid as bribe so that Augusta Westland could win the lucrative contract from the Indian armed forces.
The deal was scrapped by the previous Congress-led government after the bribery allegations first surfaced.
Tyagi reportedly blamed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for favoring now-defunct Augusta Westland during the Dec 10 hearing.