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Will pursue all remedies: AgustaWestland on chopper deal issue

Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 8:28pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

AgustaWestland today said it will "pursue all remedies including legal options" to protect its interests amid India's moves to encash bank guarantees worth over Rs 2,000 crore furnished by it in the chopper deal which has been cancelled.

India terminated on January 1 the scam-tainted Rs 3,600 crore deal of 2010 on the grounds of breach of "the Pre-contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) and the agreement" by the firm.

"AgustaWestland will pursue all remedies, including legal options, to protect the company's interests," AgustaWestland spokesperson Guy Douglas told PTI.

His comments came against the backdrop of the Defence Ministry setting in motion the process of encashing bank guarantees of about 250 million euros (over Rs 2,000 crore) deposited in international banks in Milan and the State Bank of India in the capital.

After terminating the contract for supply of 12 AW-101 helicopters for VVIPs, Defence Ministry had asserted that India will not lose any money in the deal in which payment of 30 per cent has already been made.

In its initial reaction last week, the company had said in a statement that it "still finds that neither the termination notice by the Ministry of Defence nor the showcause notice, from which this termination notice stems, offers adequate basis to take any action against the company." The deal was for supply of 12 AW-101 helicopters out of which three have already been delivered before the contract was frozen after allegations of kickbacks surfaced in February last year.

The ministry is soon expected to take a call on the fate of three choppers already supplied to it by the firm. It is unprecedented that any defence deal had been scrapped midway during the acquisition under such circumstances, they said.

AgustaWestland has invoked arbitration proceedings and India has appointed Justice (retd) Jeevan Reddy on its behalf for arbitration as it does not want to go unrepresented.


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