Babus, netas linked to AgustaWestland must also come under CBI lens: Defence Expert

Former Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi. Photo: PTI

Defence expert Nitin Gokhale on Saturday said that former air chief S P Tyagi is not the last person to be arrested in the AgustaWestland case, adding that other high profile officials, bureaucrats and politicians should come also be brought under the CBI scanner.

"The former air chief S P Tyagi being arrested is indeed a big news and it has taken almost four years for the CBI to make a first high profile arrest. But I believe that S P Tyagi is not the last person who will be arrested because he did not take an individual decision in the AgustaWestland case. There were many other high profile and high post people were also involved in the decision making," Gokhale told ANI.

"So, just to pick out Air Chief Marshal (Retired) S P Tyagi will be unfair. So, therefore, my view is that even they should be not just interrogated, but they should be looked at very closely and if necessary also go after them," he added.

He further said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will do well to look at all those involved in that decision making process.

"Otherwise, it will be seen as victimising a service personnel and allowing bureaucrats, and may be some politicians to get away from this crime. This entire deal was handled not just by Air Head Quarters, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) was involved and so was the Prime Minister's Office. Two PM's offices that is the previous NDA government and Dr. Manmohan Singh's Prime Minister's Offices were involved. The special protection group which protects the Prime Minister was also involved." he added.

The CBI will produce Tyagi in court today and will seek his remand after he was arrested in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal case.

Delhi based lawyer Gautam Khaitan and Sanjeev Tyagi were also arrested in the case.

The deal is related to purchase of twelve helicopters for VVIPs from Italian manufacturer Finmeccanica in 2010 during UPA-2 government's rule.

Tyagi, 71,who retired in 2007, was called for questioning to the CBI headquarters along with Khaitan and Sanjeev Tyagi.

These are the first arrests by CBI which came after it registered a case in 2013.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel