Former Air chief S P Tyagi on Saturday was sent to CBI remand till December 14 on Saturday.Tyagi and two others was arrested in connection with the AgustaWestland case by the CBI a day before. Two others, Gautam Khaitan and Sanjiv Tyagi too were sent to CBI remand till December 14.
During the course of the arguments, the CBI's counsel accused Tyagi of giving a step-by-step progress of the case to European middlemen Guido Haschke in connection with the case. While seeking Tyagi's custody for 10 days, the CBI stated that the latest Letter Rogatory from Mauritius and Italy have startling details which cannot be shared as of now.
"It is in this regard that we are seeking a 10-day custody," the CBI's counsel said. The premier investigating agency of the country said that the land investments made by the family of former Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi is under investigation.
Tyagi told the court that he is not a lawyer and does not understand why his arrest was necessary. "However I would like to add that, I am not going anywhere," Tyagi told the court. He also submitted that he could account for every bit of land that was purchased by him. "If a mere purchase of agricultural land makes one a criminal, then what can be done," he said in the court.
Bribes paid regularly
The CBI submitted that AgustaWestland was engaging middlemen and regularly paying bribes. "Investigations into all these aspects are on, and hence the custody of all three accused is needed," the CBI counsel submitted.
The defence counsel however submitted that Tyagi's arrest was aimed at taking the focus away from demonetisation. The FIR was filed in 2013, and the arrest made almost three years later. "This is illogical," the counsel told the court.
The defence contended that the remand papers say that the CBI is seeking custody to follow the money trail and transfer of funds through banking channels. "If banking channels have not been probed what can the CBI do now?" the defence argued while claiming that the arrest is carried out only to use third degree treatment.
The CBI submitted that it was decided in 1999 that new choppers were needed to ferry VVIPs. The Indian Air Force was to procure these choppers and the proposal had the approval of the defence ministry.
Eleven companies replied to the tender, but the number was later narrowed down to four. It was decided that the flying capacity of the choppers should be at least 6,000 metres to access areas such as Leh and Ladakh. Due to this, the ceiling-height AugstaWestland was ruled out.
The CBI counsel added that a French firm had fulfilled all the criteria. The IAF was firm on the 6,000 ceiling height clause. However, after Tyagi took over as air chief on October 31 2004, the ceiling height was dropped to 4,500 metres.
"There is enough evidence to prove that bribe was paid by AgustaWestland to Tyagi and others. There were searches conducted in Switzerland