Plea for independent probe into chopper deal

Syndicated from IANS | Published on Wed, Feb 13 2013 20:27 IST | 4 Views | Add comment

A petitioner Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the $750-million deal for 12 VVIP helicopters for the Indian Air Force and an independent probe into allegations of bribery.

Seeking investigation either by a Special Investigation Team or the Central Vigilance Commission, the public interest litigation (PIL) by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma also sought the apex court monitoring of the probe into the deal.

The defence ministry has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the 2010 deal following the arrest of the helicopter's Italian manufacturer Finmeccanica's chief on charges of graft in the contract.

Seeking an independent probe, the PIL alleged that the CBI might be used to manipulate the report in the chopper deal.

It alleged that despite having all the details on the allegations of kickbacks in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal, the government did not taken any steps for the cancellation of the agreement for the purchase of 12 choppers from Finmeccanica.

It alleged that though the government had information on alleged kickbacks, it did not register even a first information report against the Indian citizens involved in the deal.

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