New Delhi, Dec 10: It is for the first time that a military chief, serving of retired has been arrested in connection with a case of alleged corruption.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday arrested Former Air Chief S P Tyagi in connection with the AgustaWestland case.
CBI sources tell OneIndia that the former Air Chief was called in for questioning on Friday and he was non-cooperative.
This led to the arrest of Tyagi and two others, the CBI official also said.
The CBI had on Friday also arrested Delhi based lawyer, Gautam Khaitan and Sanjeev Tyagi ( Tyagi's cousin).
The CBI's spokesperson Devpreet Singh said, "It is alleged that Chief of Air Staff (CAS) entered into criminal conspiracy with other accused persons and in 2005, conceded to change IAF's consistent stand -- that service ceiling of VVIP helicopters 6,000 metres was an inescapable operational necessity -- and reduced the same to 4,500 metres."
Bribes of Rs 362 crore:
When the probe into the AgustaWestland chopper deal was launched it was found that money was moved into India through a web of companies from different countries.
It was also found that the middlemen had paid Indian officials and also two journalists a sum of Rs 362 crore.
The probe which began with a bang slowed down over the past few months.
The CBI official says that they were analysing the heap of documents that had been provided to them by various countries.
There was a pile of documents and evidence that was provided by Italy.
The official say that they had to analyse at least 1.5 lakh documents.
These documents have a mine of information which in turn helped our case a great deal, the official also noted.
The retired Air Chief is likely to be produced before the court today.
The CBI will seek his custody for interrogation.
CBI officials say that Tyagi's questioning will help them unearth and understand better the web that had been created to push the deal through.
The CBI says that Tyagi was allegedly part of the discussions that led to the change in technical specifications for the chopper.
The CBI feels that this change in technical specifications was an influenced decision.
The chopper deal was rejected in 2002 as it was unable to fly at 6,000 metres.
However in 2005 the same was revised to 4,500 metres.
Tyagi had told the CBI that the decision was taken in consultation with officials in the PMO and also the Special Protection Group.