Air Chief Marshal Tyagi and Lawyer Gautam Khaitan Summoned by CBI

CBI has called former Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans) NV Tyagi to be examined in the AgustaWestland scam.

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Former Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans) NV Tyagi. (Photo courtesy: <a href="">SP’s Aviation</a>)

The CBI questioned former IAF Chief SP Tyagi for the third consecutive day on 4 May. The agency has called the then Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans) NV Tyagi to be examined in connection with the alleged irregularities in the deal, CBI sources said.

Advocate and former board member of Aeromatrix, Gautam Khaitan was also questioned in connection with the controversial Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal. Khaitan is named as one of the accused in the CBI FIR.

The sources said NV Tyagi was part of a team of senior officials who were involved in the deliberations to reduce the specifications of the helicopters for the VVIPs. They also claimed that Khaitan during his questioning admitted setting up IDS Tunisia.

IDS Tunisia is a subsidiary of IDS India. The company was one among the many through which the alleged bribe was routed by the middlemen from AgustaWestland to other countries, the sources said.

CBI officials, not willing to be on record, claimed that Khaitan only admitted setting up the company and not any alleged transfer of funds through it. The agency sources said SP Tyagi has not been called on Thursday for questioning.

The focus of the questioning was his alleged links with Italian middlemen – Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschkhe, the sources said. CBI had registered a case against Tyagi along with 13 others, including his cousins and European middlemen.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.

Tyagi has denied allegations against him and said the change of specifications, which brought AgustaWestland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG and other departments were involved.

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