The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted bail to former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi and others in a money laundering case related to the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, PTI reported. Tyagi’s cousins were among those granted bail in the case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. Tyagi was arrested with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and Delhi lawyer Gautam Khaitan on December 9, 2017.
Foreign individuals such as Italian middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke and firms that failed to appear for the hearing were not granted bail.
On July 24, the court summoned former AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica directors Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, Tyagi and others accused in the case. The court had also summoned as accused 28 Indian and foreign individuals and companies, including lawyer Gautam Khaitan, AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica SPA.
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 when Italy arrested the head of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland’s parent company. In September 2017, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against the former IAF chief and 13 others, including Tyagi’s three cousins and British businessman Christian Michel, the middleman named in the scam.
The CBI had accused Tyagi and two others of allegedly accepting kickbacks to influence the purchase of the 12 VVIP helicopters. The agency had said the deal was worth Rs 3,767 crore, of which 12% was paid in bribes. Tyagi was granted bail on December 26, 2016, while the others got relief on January 4, 2017.
In May 2016, the CBI had said two suspicious payments were made to accounts held by the former Air Force chief. The agency also learnt that Tyagi was an owner or shareholder in at least five different companies. He retired from his post in 2007.