New Delhi: CBI today arrested former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi for bribery in the high profile AgustaWestland (aw) scam. The retired Air Marshal had been questioned numerous times in the VVIP chopper deal earlier by CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate.
Tyagi, alongwith various other Indian officers, allegedly accepted bribe in the Rs 3600 contract for a dozen helicopters when his cousins got into the deal through middlemen in 2004 using his influence as the upcoming Air Force Chief. He was arrested along with business man Gautam Khaitan, a Delhi based lawyer as well as his relative Sanjiv alias Julie Tyagi.
Earlier this year, the Milan Appellate Court verdict had suggested that Tyagi had met AW officials with his cousins to fix the deal. The Tyagis had reportedly lowered the flying ceiling of the helicopters to be bought for VVIPs and customised various aspects of the choppers’ design.
Tyagi was Air Force Chief from December 2004 to March 2007.
On January 1, 2014, the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland was cancelled by India after allegations of breach in contractual obligations surfaced. Kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore were allegedly paid for securing the deal to supply 12 AW101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF).