Defence minister AK Antony has said that that Anglo-Italian firm Agusta Westland “violated the contract proceedings” in a deal relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers.
“The firm has violated the contract provisions and we are taking steps to protect our interest,” Antony said on the sidelines of the seventh South Asia conference. The defence ministry last week issued a final show cause notice to Agusta Westland for violation of integrity pact.
The Indian Air Force had entered into a contract with Agusta Westland for the purchase of 12 helicopters to ferry VVIPs, including the prime minister and the president. The deal attracted controversy when Italian investigators found evidence that bribes had been paid to swing the deal in favour of Agusta Westland.
Following the Italian investigation, India put the deal in deep freeze in February 2012 and the defence ministry ordered the CBI to probe the allegations. The CBI has registered an FIR, naming former IAF chief SP Tyagi as an accused.