The Cental Bureau of Investigation is seeking legal opinion from the law ministry to record statements of governors MK Narayanan (West Bengal) and BV Wanchoo (Goa) in connection with agency’s probe in the Rs 3600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.
“We are seeking law ministry’s opinion to record statement of the governors as witness in the case. Since, they hold constitutional positions, we need to follow the protocol,” said a CBI officer. CBI claims that investigators are seeking opinion from the Law ministry because the constitutional post gives a governor immunity from prosecution under Article 361 of the Constitution.
According to CBI officials Narayanan, the then National Security Advisor, and Wanchoo, who headed the elite Special Protection Group cleared the service ceiling specification alteration from 6,000 feet to 4,500 feet which facilitated the entry of Italian firm AgustaWestland into the competition in 2006.
The allegation against the former air chief was that he had reduced the height of the VVIP helicopters so that AgustaWestland is included in the bids.
The ministry of defence cancelled the deal with Anglo-Italian defence giant earlier this month over the allegation that the company violated the integrity clause.