IAF ex-chief sent to jail, moves bail plea

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) A court here on Saturday sent former Indian Air Force chief S.P. Tyagi and two others, arrested in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case, to judicial custody till December 30.

Claiming innocence, Tyagi has moved a bail application that a Patiala House court listed for December 21.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Arvind Kumar remanded Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan, a Delhi-based lawyer, to Tihar Jail after the probe agency said that further custodial interrogation of the three is not required.

Considering the security perspective, the court has directed the lock-up as well as jail officials to take care of Tyagi’s safety and he was taken from lock-up to jail via a separate van.

Tyagi — the first chief of any wing of the armed forces to be arrested in the country — and the others were allegedly involved in irregularities in the procurement of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters from Britain-based AgustaWestland.

To show soldarity to the former IAF chief in his legal battle, at least 20 veterans including 12 former Air Marshals were present in the court room during the proceedings.

One of the close associate of Tyagi told IANS that former IAF chief is getting full support from defence personnel.

The other two also moved bail pleas and the court has asked the probe agency too file reply on the pleas.

The former IAF chief sought bail on the ground that he has co-operated in the investigation.

Tyagi’s counsel Menaka Guruswamy said that as he is a decorated war hero, he is not fleeing from justice and will follow the conditions.

Tyagi said that the case is based on documentary evidence and neither he will influence witnesses nor he is going to tamper with evidence if he is released on bail.

Khaitan’s counsel Pramod Kumar Dubey also maintained the same content in his bail plea.

To strengthen his plea, advocate Dubey submitted before court that Khaitan has not misused any conditions of bail granted earlier in a separate case probed by Enforcement Directorate (ED).

–IANS

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