Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi (retd.) was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, for alleged involvement in the Rs. 3,700-crore AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case.
Charges on S.P. Tyagi
The CBI has determined that about Rs. 450 crore, or 12 per cent of the Rs. 3,767-crore deal for procurement of 12 helicopters was paid as bribes. The government rescinded the contract in January 2014 in view of the bribery allegations.
According to the official, “Mr. Tyagi allegedly entered into a conspiracy with other accused persons in 2005 and conceded to change the Air Force’s consistent stand that the 6,000-metre service ceiling of VVIP helicopters was an inescapable operational necessity. It was instead reduced to 4,500 metres. This helped AgustaWestland to meet the eligibility criteria for the contract. The kickbacks were received through middlemen and relatives.”
Chargesheet: a boost to extradite British middlemen
The first charge sheet is expected to boost the agency’s request for extraditing alleged British middleman Christian Michel, who undertook about 300 trips to India between 1997 and 2013, from the UAE.