Ex-Chief Tyagi's Arrest Has Hurt Morale, Dented Our Image, Air Chief Tells NDTV

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On ex-chief SP Tyagi's arrest, Air Chief Marshal Raha said it is "very unfortunate".


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. SP Tyagi's arrest dented Air Force image: outgoing Chief Arup Raha
  2. 'Could treat retired chief Tyagi with more respect,' says Chief Arup Raha
  3. Tyagi granted bail provided he doesn't leave Delhi or contact witnesses
Former Air Chief SP Tyagi's arrest in the VVIP chopper scam has dented the image of the Indian Air Force and hurt the morale of the armed forces, outgoing Chief Arup Raha has acknowledged in an exclusive interview. "I will be very happy if he can acquit himself," Air Chief Marshal Raha said on NDTV's Walk The Talk.

The Air Chief also agreed that investigating agencies "could treat retired chief Tyagi with a little more respect."

Air marshal Tyagi, 72, was arrested earlier this month over allegations that he accepted kickbacks to favour AgustaWestland in a contract for helicopters to be used by the country's top politicians. He became the first ever military chief - former or current - to be arrested.

Air Chief Marshal Raha, who worked under him, said it is "very unfortunate that a person of his stature has been investigated by the CBI and other agencies so it definitely hurt the morale of the people, of the armed forces. I can't say that it doesn't dent our image, dent our reputation, it definitely does."

Commenting that he believed the retired chief to be professionally "sound", he said "I'm sure we'll go by the law of the land and the judicial process will be completed and the evidences will be produced, I'll be very happy if he can acquit himself after all he has been the former Chief."

The former air chief was granted bail today after 18 days in jail, on the condition that he can't leave Delhi or try to contact any witness. A Delhi court said there was no purpose in keeping him in jail because the CBI had failed to either trace the alleged money trail back to Air Marshal Tyagi or establish how much he was allegedly paid and when.

Asked about the outrage of various former chiefs over Air Marshal Tyagi allegedly being treated like a "common criminal", the chief said: "I do not know the exact evidence that the investigating agencies have but if they could treat him with little more respect till the time he's proven guilty I'll be very happy."


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