AgustaWestland Case: CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet, Names Middlemen

The supplementary chargesheet also details how alleged kickbacks were transferred to government officials with help from Rajiv Saxena, who was extradited to India in January last year

The case involves a Rs 3,600 crore contract to buy 12 luxury helicopters (Representational)

New Delhi:

The CBI has filed a supplementary chargesheet in the AgustaWestland case that names 15 individuals including Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena.

Former CAG Shashi Kant Sharma has not been named in this chargesheet as the CBI has not yet received sanction from the Defence Ministry to prosecute him. Agency sources said last week that permission had been sought to prosecute Mr Sharma and former Air Vice Marshal Jasbir Singh Panesar.

The supplementary chargesheet details how alleged kickbacks were transferred to government officials with help from Rajiv Saxena, who was extradited to India in January last year.

The CBI has collected a number of documents and key pieces of evidence from five countries through Letters Rogatory. These countries are the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Italy and Tunisia.

The alleged role of politicians is not dealt with in this chargesheet, sources within the agency said.

The AgustaWestland case involves a Rs 3,600 crore contract for the purchase of 12 luxury helicopters to be used by top Indian leaders like the President, the Prime Minister and other VIPs.

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Signed in 2007 by the Manmohan Singh government, 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) in the Defence Ministry between 2003-2007, initiated the purchase of the helicopters in that role. He approved the purchase in 2010 as Director General (Defence Acquisition).

Others involved in the case include Christian Michel, one of three middlemen in the deal, along with Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa.

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