Former Air Force Chief S P Tyagi and his cousins were granted bail by the Patiala House Court in Delhi on Wednesday in the AgustaWestland money laundering case. They were asked to furnish Rs 1 lakh as bail bond with one surety of the same amount. The case pertains to the alleged money laundering of Rs 3,600-crore deal through many channels to make AgustaWestland helicopters eligible for the India contract.
Special judge Arvind Kumar, after taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed in the case, had summoned over 30 accused in the case to appear before it today, including former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini and lawyer Gautam Khaitan and his wife Ritu. AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica SPA were also issued summons. All the foreign individuals and firms failed to appear before court today.
In 2010, AgustaWestland signed a Rs 3,546 crore contract to supply 12 AW-101 helicopters to the IAF. Eight of these were to be used to transport VVIPs including the President, Prime Minister, the Vice-President and others, while four were to be used for other duties. Finmeccanica edged out American chopper maker Sikorsky’s S-92 Superhawk to bag the contract. The AW-101s were meant to replace the Soviet Mi-8 helicopters, which had completed their technical life.
In its chargesheet filed under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the ED accused 34 people and entities of playing a role in the deal. It said a company, which Tyagi was a partner at, received over Rs 1 crore in kickbacks as part of the deal. Tyagi and his cousins Sanjeev Tyagi and Rajeev Tyagi were a 50 per cent partner in the firm.