VVIP Chopper Case: Court Summons Ex Chief Auditor, 4 Others

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A Special Court on Monday issued summons against former Defence Secretary and former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Shashi Kant Sharma and Four India Airforce (IAF) retired officials in AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper alleged scam case.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar on Tuesday issued summons against all accused named in the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The court took cognizance of the charge sheet and directed all the accused to appear before it on April 28, 2022.

CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Advocate DP Singh argued before the court on the point of cognizance.

The CBI has got a prosecution sanction against Shashi Kant Sharma. Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation had sought sanction from the government to prosecute former defence secretary and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma, in a case of alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.

The probe agency had also sought sanctions to prosecute former Air Vice Marshal and three other former Indian Air Force officials.

Earlier, the CBI had filed the charge sheet in September 2020 against 15 accused including persons, and private companies in a case related to the award of a contract to a UK-based company for the supply of 12 VVIP helicopters.

The Agusta Westland case is a corruption case that is being probed by CBI and ED. It has been alleged that bribes were paid during the UPA regime to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing Company Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore. Later in 2014, the said deal was scrapped by the NDA Government.

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