In his defence, Air Chief Marshal Tyagi has said the deal was signed three years after he completed his term. However, he was in office when the tender for the helicopters was revised, which allegedly facilitated the scam. Italian investigators say that the new conditions were virtually made-to-order to benefit AW.
The inquiry in India has taken its lead so far from Italy, where prosecutors have arrested the former CEO of defence giant Finmeccanica for paying bribes at home and abroad. The Italians say that retired Air Chief Marshal Tyagi was among those who received kickbacks to ensure that Finmeccanica's helicopter division, AgustaWestland, landed a deal in 2010 worth nearly Rs. 4,000 crore.
CBI officials travelled to Italy last week and returned with documents that could serve as crucial evidence. The government has threatened to cancel the contract; in a letter, AW has said the deal must not be cancelled at this stage, when the investigation has just begun.
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