VVIP chopper deal: CBI examines former Deputy Chief of IAF JS Gujral

AgustaWestland AW101 (Source: PTI)
CBI today examined former Deputy Chief of Indian Air Force JS Gujral in connection with alleged irregularities in the Rs 3600 VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland.

Air Marshal (Retd) Gujral arrived at the CBI Headquarters here in the morning and appeared before the investigation team probing the case.

He was one of the many senior officials who were part of the meeting in 2005 when a decision to alter the required specifications was taken.

The agency has called former Air Chief SP Tyagi on Monday.

Both have been questioned at length in 2013 but the fresh round of questioning was necessitated after the April 7 order ofan Italian court.

CBI has so far maintained that Gujralwas questioned as a witness but remain tight lipped if he will still retain the same status.

The agency, so far, has not levelled any allegation against him.

The agency had registered a case against former IAF Chief Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen in the case.

Tyagi has denied the allegations.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he had reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter fromaltitude ceiling requirement from 6,000 m to 4,500 m (15,000ft)so that AgustaWestland was included in the bids.

However, this decision was taken allegedly in consultation with the officials of SPG and the Prime Minister's Office including then NSA M K Narayanan.

CBI has alleged reduction of the service ceiling--maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally--allowed the UK-based firm to get into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.

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