Facing a CBI probe for its alleged role in the payments of kickbacks in the VVIP chopper deal,Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland today said it has sought time from the Defence Ministry to discuss its contract with India.
“AgustaWestland International Ltd (as the formal ‘seller’) has formally sought bilateral discussions with the Ministry of Defence,which is a legal obligation under the contract and is currently awaiting a response,” the firm said in a statement.
The firm had been issued a show cause notice by the Defence Ministry asking it why the Rs 3,600 crore contract should not be cancelled in wake of the allegations against it.
CBI has registered an FIR against the company and has interrogated former IAF Chief S P Tyagi and his three cousins for alleged payment of Rs 362 crore kickbacks for securing the deal.
The Ministry has put on hold the delivery of nine of the 12 choppers India had contracted for in the agreement signed in 2010,while three choppers have already arrived here and are flying with the IAF.
On the demands for a fast track trial in the case in Italy,the firm said it was “unable to comment directly on the ongoing investigation but wish to stress that none of the allegations have yet been tested in court”.