The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team into alleged irregularities in the Chhattisgarh government’s purchase of an AgustaWestland helicopter, Live Law reported.
In May 2016, Swaraj Abhiyan leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav had first alleged that the Chhattisgarh government had paid kickbacks of $1.57 million (Rs 10.2 crore) to buy a helicopter. Abhishek Singh, the son of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, was alleged to have formed a shell company for the deal.
“It was a fraudulent tender, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party paid a hefty commission for the purchase of one chopper in 2007,” the petition claims. “The tender rules were seriously bypassed.”
In November 2017, the Supreme Court asked the Chhattisgarh government to produce original documents related to the purchase of the AgustaWestland helicopter.
AgustaWestland has also been in the news for a 2010 agreement with the India government to buy 12 helicopters. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was in power at the time. The deal with the firm was put on hold after Italian authorities arrested the head of AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica in a bribery case related to the chopper deal.