Former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi was granted bail in connection with the AgustaWestland scam on Monday, reported ANI. He has been asked not to leave Delhi-National Capital Region. He secured his released by furnishing a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh.
SP Tyagi was arrested with his cousin Sajeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan on December 9. The other two accused had also applied for bail. The Patiala House court will take up their pleas on January 4.
All three were arrested for allegedly accepting kickbacks to influence the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers in 2010. The CBI said the deal was worth Rs 3,767 crore, of which 12% was paid in bribes. Investigators said AgustaWestland was shown undue favour in connection with the deal. They also said the company had accepted illegal vendors through middlemen and relatives of the former IAF chief, including Sanjeev Tyagi.
The agency has been investigating SP Tyagi along with his associates and middleman Christian Michel in connection with the case. In May, the CBI said two “suspicious” payments were made to accounts held by the former Air Force chief. The agency also learnt that SP Tyagi was an owner or shareholder at least five different companies. He retired from his post in 2007.
In July, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that a chargesheet in the case was likely to be filed by the end of the year. The AgustaWestland helicopter deal, which snowballed into a huge controversy, is related to an agreement signed in 2010 to buy 12 helicopters from the British-Italian firm. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was in power at the time.
The deal was put on hold after Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company. The CBI had registered a case against the former IAF chief and 13 others, including Tyagi’s three cousins and Michel.