The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) Friday issued summons to former IAF chief S P Tyagi and some others in connection with their investigation into the VVIP chopper scam. The agencies asked them to appear before them within 15 days for questioning.
The CBI has also summoned retired Air Marshal J S Gujral, who was present in the March 2005 meeting where technical specifications for VVIP choppers were discussed in the presence of Tyagi and then NSA M K Narayanan.
While Gujral has been asked to appear before CBI on Saturday, Tyagi has been asked to present himself on Monday. CBI has questioned both of them earlier.
The ED, meanwhile, has issued summons to three cousins of Tyagi as well.
Tyagi was Air Chief Marshal between 2005 and 2007 when required specifications for VVIP choppers were altered to favour AgustaWestland. His cousins, Sanjeev, Sandeep and Rajeev, allegedly received bribes from middlemen to swing the deal. The money, says ED sources, is also suspected to have reached Tyagi.
“Summons have been issued in light of the judgment of Milan Court of Appeals which has convicted the accused of corruption. Tyagi will be questioned on his role in altering specifications to favour Agusta and the bribe he is suspected to have received,” an ED official said. The ED has earlier questioned Tyagi’s cousins, but has summoned them again as some fresh details have come to the fore, said sources.
ED claims that Tyagi’s brothers began looking for a defence middleman as soon as it became clear that their cousin was going to become the next IAF chief. At that time, the Defence Ministry was looking at various companies for choppers to ferry VVIPs to heights of up to 6000m.
The Tyagi brothers allegedly got in touch with Guido Haschke even before their cousin became Air Chief Marshal and asked him to find a company that could provide choppers and would be willing to deal with them. It was then that Haschke brought in AgustaWestland and the brothers influenced Tyagi and others, allegedly through bribes, to alter specifications in a way that would make Agusta the only company to qualify.