In a development which could spell bad news for the Former Air Chief Marshall (retd) SP Tyagi, CBI has decided to file an FIR against him and his cousins in the AgustaWestland chopper scam. According to sources in the CBI, SP Tyagi, his cousins Julie and Docsa, Gautam Khaitan and Parveen Bakshi will be booked under charges of bribery and cheating.
Sources say that CBI’s investigation is pointing towards the fact that SP Tyagi has accepted a bribe from his cousins to help AugustaWestland in the now infamous VVIP Chopper scam. The kickbacks in excess of 350 crores were allegedly routed through fake engineering contracts and paid to Tyagi brothers.
In another development, Satish Bagordia was also questioned by the CBI in the VVIP chopper scam. Satish Bagrodia is the younger brother of former MOS Coal, Santosh Bagrodia, and is a director in Chandigarh based IDS Infotech Ltd, which Italian investigators are alleging, was used to route bribe money in India.
The scam in the 4,000 crore helicopter deal would have gone unnoticed if Italian investigators had not arrested Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of Finmeccanica, parent company of AgustaWestland, to be guilty of having paid kickbacks to seal the helicopter deal in India. The Italian report had named cousins of former Indian Air Force Chief S P Tyagi – Julie and Docsa alias Rajiv Tyagi – as having received cash through middlemen and companies in London,Tunisia, Switzerland and Mauritius. The said helicopters (three out of 12 have already been delivered) were meant for VIPs like the Prime Minister.
As TEHELKA had reported earlier, a 64-page prosecution report filed by the Italian authorities, had detailed how Italian nationals Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa and UK-based consultant Christian Michel connived to push the deal through nefarious means. Bribes amounting to 51 million euros were paid and fictitious orders were raised through IT companies in Chandigarh. Junk helicopters were bought in order to mask the money trail. The bombshell in the report was the part where it said that middleman Haschke admitted that he had met former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi six-seven times and that Tyagi’s three cousins were instrumental in swinging the deal.
In a factsheet put up on the PIB website, the defence ministry admitted that in “November 2012, a letter was received in MoD from the director, income tax investigations, regarding allegations against Indians possibly involved in the deal as middlemen and seeking information about them”. After sitting on this information for two months, the MoD wrote to the Income Tax (IT) department that “it had no such details and if the IT has any such credible information, it should share with them”.
BRIJESH PANDEY – TEHELKA