Armed forces

Former Airforce Chief S.P. Tyagi Arrested Over AgustaWestland Scam

During initial investigations into the VVIP chopper deal, most attention was centred on Tyagi whose cousins allegedly received kick-backs through various north Indian shell companies.

The blacklisting process has already been started.

The AgustaWestland chopper. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Friday, arrested former Indian Air Force chief S.P.Tyagi and two others for alleged corruption in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal.

Tyagi, who retired in 2007, was questioned by the CBI extensively in the past in this case. Along with Tyagi, his cousin Sanjiv alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan were also arrested.

“This is for first time a former IAF chief has been arrested by the central probe agency,” official sources said. On 1 January 2014, India had scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over an alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.

CBI had also issued letters rogatory (judicial requests) to multiple countries to gather more leads and evidences in this case. According to a CBI spokesperson, the arrested will be produced before a Delhi court on Saturday.

Interestingly, this arrest comes a week after interim director of the CBI Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, assumed charge.