AgustaWestland Case: CBI Seeks Nod To Prosecute Former Authorities Auditor


Christian Michel is the primary accused within the VVIP chopper scandal (Representational)

New Delhi:

Former Comptroller Auditor Normal Shashi Kant Sharma and former Air Vice Marshal Jasbir Singh Panesar are set to be prosecuted by the CBI, pending authorities sanction, within the AgustaWestland rip-off case, company sources mentioned Friday.

The CBI has approached the Defence Ministry for permission to start proceedings in courtroom in opposition to Mr Sharma and Mr Panesar, in addition to three others named by the central company, the sources added.

“Additional investigation… revealed the involvement of mentioned officers. We have now sought sanction from the Ministry of Defence to prosecute… As soon as sanction is accorded, the above-named public servants, together with Christian Michel, shall be named within the supplementary chargesheet,” CBI sources advised NDTV.

Regardless of a number of makes an attempt at contacting him, Mr Sharma was not obtainable for touch upon this matter.

The Agusta Westland case includes a Rs three,600 crore contract for the acquisition of 12 luxurious helicopters for use by high Indian leaders just like the President, the Prime Minister and different VIPs.

Signed in 2007 by the Manmohan Singh authorities, the contract was scrapped six years later amid allegations AgustaWestland paid kickbacks in India amounting to Rs 362 crore.

Mr Sharma, who was Joint Secretary (Air) within the Defence Ministry between 2003-2007, initiated the acquisition of the helicopters in that function. He accredited the acquisition in 2010 as Director Normal (Defence Acquisition).

A Particular Investigation Group of the CBI took over this case in 2016 and filed its first chargesheet in opposition to SP Tyagi, a former Air Chief Marshal charged with taking bribes to change chopper specs, and 11 others in September 2017.

Others concerned within the case embody Christian Michel, considered one of three middlemen within the chopper deal, together with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

Michel, a British nationwide, was arrested within the UAE in 2017 on the premise of an Interpol discover and extradited to India in December 2018.

He’s at present in Delhi’s Tihar Jail and has been accused by the Enforcement Directorate of getting round Rs 225 crore from AgustaWestland as kickbacks.

Together with Mr Sharma and Mr Panesar, the CBI has additionally sought sanction to prosecute SA Kunte (Deputy Chief Testing Pilot), Thomas Mathew, Wing Commander of the Indian Air Drive) and N Santosh (then Group Captain, IAF).

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