New Delhi: Ex-Air Chief of India who was arrested yesterday by Central Bureau of Investigation today cry innocence before the court. SP Tyagi, who was sent to four days CBI remand along with three others by Patiala House court claimed that August Westland helicopter deal was not his decision alone. It was Prime Minister’s Office that ordered him to get involved in the deal as he was chief of Air Staff.
Tyagi said he is a scapegoat in the entire case. He served between 2005 to 2007 as a Air Chief. It was the PMO who gave nod to the Air Force to get involved in 2003. At that time he was not an Air Chief. On the basis of PMO’s order changes in the procurement was made in 2005.
On the other hand, while seeking custody of Tyagi and three others for 10 days CBI said evidence available on record warranted his arrest for further investigation in the case. The deal was done when congress party was in power. A detailed investigation is required to ascertain the truth. There are 18 accused in the deal, which include Tyagi’s cousin and one European middleman.
Similar kind of probe was done by Italy Investigators. Both in India and Italy investigators accused him of abusing his official position for driving the deal in Augusta Westland’s pocket.
In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that Chief of Air Staff entered into the criminal conspiracy. Tyagi ordered to reduce VVIP Helicopters inescapable operational necessity from 6,000m to 4,500m. This major change made Augusta Westland company to become eligible for participating in the VVIP chopper deal.
CBI claimed that they have evidence on record to prove that Air Mashal Tyagi met with a top official of Finmeccanica when he was Air Chief. The UK-based Augusta Westland is a parent company of Finmecccanica. Tyagi roped in his cousin as the middleman in the deal.Three helicopters were delivered to IAF before the deal was stalled in 2013.