CBI charges Brig in VVIP copter deal scam

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Chpper scam
New Delhi, Jan 4: In a new turn of events, the CBI has registered a case against Brigadier V S Saini and other unknown officers working with the Army Aviation Corps, accusing them of swinging the contract in favour of AgustaWestland in exchange for a hefty bribe and tampering with the test flight records of the copters.

This happened after CBI received a fresh set of documents from the Italian police that mentioned his name in the documents seized by the Italian prosecutor while probing the VVIP chopper scam.

According to reports, the Brigadier had demanded a bribe of five million dollars in 2010 to swing the contract in favour of the company. However, the company was later eliminated from the race.

The Brigadier now faces cases under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, which include abuse of official position, and charges of forgery.

Currently, the Defence Acquisitions Council , headed by the Defence Minister A K Antony, has put the purchase of the helicopters on hold till the investigations were completed in the case.

These Light Helicopters were to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak fleet which undertakes casualty evacuation operations in forward locations and high-altitude areas like North Kashmir, Ladakh, Siachen and the Northeast.

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