CBI can question ‘driving force’ behind Agusta deal: Swamy

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Targeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said the CBI can, as per the law, question the person mentioned as the “driving force” behind the AgustaWestland deal.

“The CBI has the right under Section 156 of CrPC to question the person who is mentioned in the Italian court judgment as the ‘driving force’ behind the AgustaWestland chopper deal,” Swamy said in the Rajya Sabha.

Swamy said that although the Indian Air Force in 2004 said the VVIP choppers must be able to fly up to 6,000 metres for safety reasons, the Agusta choppers could not fly above 4,500 metres altitude.

Swamy alleged that conditions were manipulated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to egg out the rest of contenders.

“The internationally accepted standard for a chopper’s cabin height is 1.45 metres. But in this case, the cabin height specification was set at 1.80 metres. Only AgustaWestland could fulfill this condition and the rest were out,” he said.

“Secondly, field trials were done with a different model than the one purchased, and the AW101 was cleared on the basis of these trials. Does it not attract prosecution under Section 420 of IPC?” he added.

The BJP leader also alleged that while the original proposal was to buy eight choppers, the number was later raised to 12 once AgustaWestland won the contract.



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