IAF) chief Shashi P Tyagi and his cousins have been named in the First Investigation Report (FIR) filed in the VVIP chopper deal.
The CBI booked 12 persons including Tyagi and four companies under IPC sections 120 and 420 and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act on Wednesday. The agency registered a case against Tyagi and his cousins because they received kickbacks from Italian aerospace giant Finmeccanica.
The bribes were paid by middlemen to clinch the Rs 3600 crore deal as per which the IAF was suposed to receive twelve helicopters manufactured by Finmeccanica's subsidiary AgustaWestland. Payments totalling Rs 1,200 crore have been made for the three AW-101 choppers supplied so far.
The IAF wanted to incorporate these helicopters in its elite Communications squadron that ferries VVIPs such as the President and the Prime Minister.
AgustaWestland head Bruno Spagnolini and Finmeccanica chairman Giuseppe Orsi have already been arrested for bribing Indian officials as investigators in Italy feared that the duo might tamper with crucial evidence.
Guido Haschke, one of the middlemen, was found to have erased from his computer all the documents which pertain to the chopper deal. However, Haschke has admitted to meeting Shashi P Tyagi several times. The latter has strongly denied the middleman's averment.
Tyagi told the CBI that the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Brajesh Mishra, the national secuity advisor during the NDA regime, recommended that some conditions of the tender for the deal be changed.
The agency has discovered that bribes were routed to Shashi P Tyagi as well as his cousins Docsa and Julie via engineering contracts in Tunisia and Mauritius. Aeromatrix CEO Praveen Bakshi and an advocate Gautam Khaitan were also involved in routing the kickbacks to the Tyagis, CBI said.
Besides Docsa, another cousin of Shashi namely Sandeep Tyagi was found to be involved in certain defence deals. This is why all these persons have been named by the agency in the FIR.