CBI plea to quash bail infructuous: Ex-IAF chief Tyagi to HC

Former IAF chief S P Tyagi, an accused in the AgustaWestland chopper scam case, today told the Delhi High Court that the CBI's plea seeking quashing of his bail has become "infructuous" as he has already been summoned by the trial court after filing of the charge sheet.

Tyagi's counsel submitted before the high court that the proceedings in the case are going on before the trial court which has summoned him as an accused after taking cognisance of the charge sheet and there should be no apprehension that he would run away.

To this, Justice Anu Malhotra summoned the charge sheet filed before the trial court in the case and said documents be produced two days before the hearing on April 10.

72-year old Tyagi was arrested by CBI on December 9, 2016 along with Sanjeev and Khaitan in the case relating to alleged irregularities in a USD 560 million Indian contract for supply of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based AgustaWestland during the UPA-2 regime.

CBI had earlier told the trial court that Tyagi had allegedly "abused his official position" and during his tenure as the air chief, he had made huge investments in land and other properties and not disclosed the source of his income.

During the hearing today, CBI's counsel Sanjeev Bhandari sought time to argue the agency's plea challenging the bail granted to Tyagi and two other co-accused, Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie and lawyer Gautam Khaitan.

He said Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who has to argue the matter, could not come today as he was stuck in the Supreme Court.

"There are certain aspects which have been incorporated in the trial court order and which cause prejudice to the CBI. Further investigation is also going on in the case. We have sought quashing of the bail," the CBI counsel said.

The submissions were opposed by senior advocate Arvind Nigam and advocate Pramod Dubey, who appeared for the accused, saying the CBI was delaying the matter and was only seeking dates for past one year since January 2017.

The court, however, granted time to the agency and listed the matter for the next date.

CBI has moved the high court challenging bail granted to Tyagi by a trial court on December 26, 2016 on the ground that he could allegedly "hamper" the probe and "alert" other accused if he remained out of custody.

On December 30, 2016, the high court had sought Tyagi's response on CBI's plea challenging his bail in the case.

CBI had alleged that Tyagi has committed a serious offence which "shames the country" and the order passed by the trial court granting him bail was "illegal".

The agency had claimed that it was a serious matter and the accused was trying to delay the high court proceedings as several other persons, who are involved, want him to remain out of jail.

Tyagi's counsel had countered the submissions claiming there was no evidence against him in the case.

The agency had said that its probe was "multi-layered" and spread across several countries as various companies were allegedly used to "camouflage the bribe money".

A trial court had granted bail to Tyagi, who had retired as IAF chief in 2007, saying CBI has failed to state the alleged bribe amount and when it was paid. Sanjeev and Khaitan were later granted the relief by the trial court.

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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