Ex-Air Chief Tyagi in CBI custody for four days, blames then PMO

The court sent Tyagi and two other accused — his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer-businesssman Gautam Khaitan — to CBI custody for four days.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Published:December 11, 2016 3:11 am
CBI, SP Tyagi, former Indian Air Force, SP Tyagi arrested, AgustaWestland, VVIP helicopter deal, India news, Indian Express Former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi

The CBI told a Delhi court on Saturday that former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi “inserted” a word in the minutes of a meeting chaired by the then defence secretary in 2005, to favour AgustaWestland in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter deal. The agency also submitted that Tyagi, during his tenure as IAF chief, made “huge monetary investments in buying agricultural land” which are now being investigated.

Tyagi’s lawyer told that the court that the then PMO, led by Manmohan Singh, “dragged” the IAF chief’s office into the “procurement process” and it was a “collective decision”. “File has moved along several departments. The IAF has nothing to do with procurement. However, the PMO created a situation to make the Air Force chief take part in the procurement. Everything came from the PMO and today they have forged the decision upon him, when the final decision was a collective decision,” he argued.

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“I purchased the agricultural land in 2002. The CBI can check my accounts… I have been called to the CBI office several times over the phone and I have followed the orders. Only in this instance, summons were issued and I was arrested,” Tyagi told the court.

The court sent Tyagi and two other accused — his cousin Sanjeev alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer-businesssman Gautam Khaitan — to CBI custody for four days.

The CBI had sought 10-day police custody of Tyagi, saying they had evidence that AgustaWestland officials had “visited” his official residence and Letters Rogatory (LR) from Italy and Mauritius contained “incriminating evidence” against him.

The agency told the court that “it has received incriminating documents related to the Defence Ministry, which were recovered during a search operation carried out at Guido Haschke’s mother’s residence in Switzerland”.

“On April 1, 2005, there was a meeting chaired by the defence secretary. The then Air Force chief S P Tyagi inserted the words ‘at least twin engines’. During the meeting it was decided that the company which fulfills the criteria of ‘twin engines’ should be awarded the deal. However, when the minutes of the meeting were put up, the word ‘at least’ was added by Tyagi. This was done to accommodate AgustaWestland, as the firm was offering helicopters with three engines. This was done with… approval of Tyagi,” said CBI prosecutor V K Ojha.

“In 2004, the IAF decided that the mandatory operational requirement capability of the helicopter should not be compromised and must be 6,000 metres… However, in 2005, the Air headquarters did a U-turn and agreed to reduce the mandatory service ceiling to 4,500 metres… And it was during the tenure of S P Tyagi that the Air Force conceded to reduce the service ceiling. This was done only to favour Agusta Westland…this is a deep-rooted conspiracy having international ramifications, and his custody is required to unearth the larger conspiracy,” he argued.

“We have received LRs from Mauritius and Italy, from which it has emerged that custodial interrogation of Tyagi is required for confronting him with the incriminating evidence… He also made huge monetary investment in buying agricultural land, which he never declared or told the Defence Ministry (about). This also has to be probed,” said the CBI.

After hearing the submissions, Metropolitan Magistrate Surjit Saurabh said: “I am of the considered view that police custody is required for fair investigation. Having considered the entire aspect…the accused persons be remanded till December 14.”

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    Abhinav Gour
    Dec 11, 2016 at 4:48 am
    Right very easy to blame PMO. Can he explain why his cousins got the money. This blaming the pmo is a delibrate attempt to deviate from yhe current issues. This govt has done well to deviate topics. Demonetaistion was an attempt to deviate from all issues, but unfortunately for them its become one of the main issues which will haunt them for a while
    Reply
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      Abhinav Gour
      Dec 11, 2016 at 4:51 am
      Why cbi has to selectively leak this news
      Reply
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        Michellegt;Vedicgt;human
        Dec 11, 2016 at 2:17 am
        My question to RA- GAA-ANDU,----if few common people are still lining up in que,----then what good has he and his CONGIES have done the last 10 years for these common men so that they wouldn't have been standing in the que today,----talking about earthquake in parliament,----the DEMON himself and mother DEMON SONIA GUNDI,---after surprise DEMONISATION lost all black money and that sudden earthquake triggered TSUNAMI up his and he is shivering with after shocks of that sudden earthquake is the reason ra- is d up cause sir MODIJI won't roll back DEMONISATION and RA- no longer can buy votes,----that's the CONGIE frustration,----chopper scam deal just surfaced and PMO of MMS is under investigation,--Jai Hind.
        Reply
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          avi
          Dec 11, 2016 at 6:52 am
          In the past hundreds of commission agents have gone scot free. It is the first time an arrest has been made, which is a good sign !
          Reply
          1. D
            Dash
            Dec 11, 2016 at 4:48 am
            Slave-Manmohan Singh called demonetization a scam. what about this? coal scam accused Mannu must be arrested.
            Reply
            1. D
              Dash
              Dec 11, 2016 at 4:49 am
              Slave-Manmohann Singhh called demonetization a scam. what about this? coall scamm accused MannuG must be arrested.
              Reply
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                Devkumar
                Dec 11, 2016 at 3:19 am
                Selective raids by CBI department officials due to political pressures and vibrant Gujarat notorious for crimes is totally spared proves political interference.
                Reply
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                  Pitambar Sharma
                  Dec 11, 2016 at 3:35 am
                  Sonia was the director, Mauna Singh the lead actor, and Tyagi was a stagehand in the play. Now Tyagi is left holding the bag.
                  Reply
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