New Delhi, March 13: The CBI Wednesday registered a case against former chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) S.P. Tyagi and 12 others for criminal conspiracy and fraud in the $750 million (Rs.3,600 crore) deal for 12 VVIP helicopters.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids at Air Chief Marshal (retd.) S.P. Tyagi’s residence and several other places in Delhi, NCR and Chandigarh in connection with the case, sources said.
Tyagi is the first former chief of the IAF to be named by the CBI in a criminal case related to corruption.
Apart from 13 people, an FIR was also registered against six companies: Italy-based Finmeccanica, Britain-based AgustaWestland, Mohali-based IDS Infotech Ltd (India), Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix India, Mauritius-based Infotech Design System and Tunisia-based IDS, CBI sources said.
Sources said two new names, which were not part of the agency’s preliminary inquiry, have also been included in the FIR. They are Satish Bagrodia, brother of former union minister Santosh Bagrodia and Pratap Aggarwal, managing director of IDS Infotech.
Those named in the FIR also include S.P. Tyagi’s brothers Julie, Docsa and Sandeep.
The FIR also names Giuseppe Orsi, former CEO of Italian defence major Finmeccanica; Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland (a Britain-based subsidiary of Finmeccanica), and alleged middlemen Guido Ralph Haschke, Karlo Valentino Ferdinando Gerosa and Christian Michel.
Sources said Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and “some relevant sections” under Prevention of Corruption Act have been slapped in the FIR by the agency.
They said raids took place at 14 locations including the residences of the Tyagi’s brothers and offices of IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix.
CBI sources said that the FIR was registered on the basis of documents collected by the agency and leads established during the questioning. The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry against 11 people and four companies Feb 25 over alleged kickbacks in the deal.
It had questioned S.P. Tyagi, his cousins and some others as part of its investigations.
The opposition BJP had alleged that kickbacks of Rs.400 crore were paid in the deal for 12 VVIP helicopters.
The accused have denied the allegations.
A team from the CBI and the defence ministry had gone to Italy last month to get documents in connection with the deal.
Italian agencies had arrested Orsi over allegations relating to kickbacks in the contract.