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India scraps tainted AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal

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AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper
New Delhi, Jan 1: As the Lok Sabha election is knocking on the door, Manmohan Singh government led by Congress seems to have played one of its trump cards. India has cancelled the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal with British manufacturer AgustaWestland.

The infamous VVIP chopper deal has been under scanner as it has been reported that it was riddled with kickbacks. India's latest move of cancelling the deal may turn into a legal tangle for the government as three of the 12 helicopters have already been delivered to India and part of the payment has been made.

Three of the 12 helicopters have already been delivered to India

In Feb 2013, India froze the deal with Agusta, which is owned by Italian defence manufacturer Finmeccanica. AgustaWestland has denied any wrongdoing; top executives of Finmeccanica are being investigated for paying bribes at home and abroad.

The Italian inquiry forced India to investigate the deal that was signed in 2010. As part of its probe, the Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi was among those who accepted bribes from Finmeccanica which used a maze of companies in counties like Mauritius to route payments to officers.

Air Chief Marshall Tyagi has rejected the allegations against him.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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