SC dismisses PIL demanding probe into purchase of AgustaWestland choppers by Chhattisgarh govt -
SC dismisses PIL demanding probe into purchase of AgustaWestland choppers by Chhattisgarh govt
Posted 13 Feb 2018 01:45 PM

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a probe into alleged irregularities in the purchase of an AgustaWestland helicopter by the Chhattisgarh government.

In a petition, Yogendar Yadav-led Swaraj Abhiyan had requested the court to set up a special investigation team to probe the purchase of a VIP chopper in 2007-08 by the Raman Singh government.

“The actions of the Chhattisgarh government in issuing a pre-decided tender inviting bids for the purchase of specific model of a specific brand of helicopter for VIP movement shows a complete mala fide intention on the part of the respondents to subvert the tendering process and to make sure that a pre-decided seller would be given the contract,” the plea had alleged.

It had also sought a probe into some foreign bank accounts purportedly linked to Singh’s son.

The Chhattisgarh government had denied the charges and accused the Swaraj Abhiyan of taking its political battle to the court without even filing an FIR.

Swaraj Abhiyan, set up by Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, came into being on April 14, 2015 after the two leaders were thrown out of the Aam Aadmi Party.

AgustaWestland made news in India when the government scrapped the contract with the British subsidiary of Finmeccanica in January 2014 for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force. The deal was called off for alleged breach of contractual obligations and on charges of kickbacks paid by the firm for securing the deal.

An Italian court in January acquitted Giuseppe Orsi, the former president of Finmeccanica, of the charges of paying bribe to secure the Rs 3,600-crore deal.

Milan’s third court of appeal also acquitted Bruno Spagnolini, former CEO of AgustaWestland, who was handed a four-year jail term on the same charges.

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