The CBI filed charges in a special court in Delhi after the government was ordered to prosecute Sharma, who was the defense minister from 2011 to 2013 before he was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General.

The CBI has filed additional charges in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland scam against former Defense Minister Shashi Kant Sharma and four Indian Air Force personnel, officials said on Wednesday.

The CBI filed charges in a special court in Delhi after the government was ordered to prosecute Sharma, who was the defense minister from 2011 to 2013 before he was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General.

The central investigative agency also named then Air Vice Marshal Jasbir Singh Panesar (now retired), deputy chief test pilot SA Kunte, then wing commander Thomas Mathew and Group Captain N Santosh, they said.
Kunte and Santosh retired as air commodores.

The case concerns alleged bribery to negotiate a deal to purchase 12 VVIP helicopters in favor of AgustaWestland, which was ineligible because its helicopters failed to meet the operational ceiling parameter of 6,000 meters set by the Indian air force.

The need for new helicopters to carry VVIPs – the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice President and the Defense Minister – was felt in 1999 when a proposal was made to find an alternative to the Soviet-era Mi8s of the IAF.

The CBI has accused then-IAF chief SP Tyagi of recommending lowering the helicopter’s operational ceiling from 6,000 meters to 4,500 meters, putting AgustaWestland in the race, the CBI claimed.

The IAF vehemently opposed the changes, but when Tyagi became chief, he recommended it, the agency claimed.

This was reportedly done at the behest of top executives at Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, according to the CBI, who engaged three intermediaries — Christian Michel, Guido Haschke and Carlos Gerosa — who allegedly paid bribes to Tyagi and his cousins ​​Rajiv, Sandeep and Julie.

The agency alleged that Michel’s companies have received about EUR 42.27 million, about seven percent of the deal amount, from the companies to swing the Rs 3,600 crore deal in their favor.

The bribes were reportedly routed through companies owned by Michel and a lawyer, Gautam Khaitan, in the form of multiple contracts through layered transactions to disguise them.

The first charge form in the case was filed in September 2017 with the name of former IAF chief Tyagi and others. It was followed by another indictment in September 2020 against Michel and others.


This post VVIP Chopper Scam: CBI Files Indictment Against Former CAG Shashi Kant Sharma was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/vvip-chopper-scam-cbi-files-chargesheet-against-former-cag-shashi-kant-sharma/2463066/”

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