The Defence Ministry has sought details from the Indian Embassy in Rome about reports suggesting that Italian prosecutors have shelved proceedings against defence major Finmeccannica in the alleged scam in the Rs 3,600 crore deal to procure 12 VVIP helicopters for India.
“The Indian Embassy in Rome has been asked to provide us complete details about the case in which proceedings are going on in a court in Milan”, Defence Ministry officials said here. The Ministry declined to comment on the issue saying it will speak only when it gets a complete picture of the actual position on the ground.
India scrapped the deal on January 1 on the basis of alleged breach of pre-contract integrity pact and alleged payment of kickbacks to Indian agents by the firm to secure the contract. The firm has denied the charge. Prosecutors in the Italian city of Busto Arsizio have shelved proceedings against Finmeccanica for alleged corruption in the sale to the Indian government of 12 AW-101 helicopters made by its subsidiary AgustaWestland, Italian news agency Ansa said in its report.
Prosecutors have stated Finmeccanica has nothing to do with the offence, Finmeccannica said in a statement issued in Italy. The Italian firm said its two subsidiary companies have agreed to pay a fine in the contract but not admitted to any wrongdoing.
“AgustaWestland SpA and its UK subsidiary AgustaWestland Ltd, together with the prosecutor, they decided to ask for the application of administrative pecuniary sanctions of limited extent against it, also confirming the effect,” it said.