A clearance certificate from the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will enable AgustaWestland participation in ‘Make In India’ initiative, Economic Times News Daily reported Thursday.
According to the news daily, Indian government has sought views from the investigating agency on whether the blacklisted chopper manufacturer be allowed for the Make In India initiative. This would also be the first step for Agustawestland’s ‘rehabilitation’, the daily says.
Agustawestland was blacklisted amid allegation of bribery in VVIP chopper deal by the previous government.
"We have received MoD's letter and the same is being examined," CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad was quoted as saying by ET. The defense ministry did not respond to ET's queries.
AgustaWestland will be eyeing for choppers in Navy and Army unlike previous VVIP choppers. If cleared, AgustaWestland will be one of many bidders for the deal.
“We are strong supporter of the 'Make in India' initiative" and that "the company is ready to transfer technology to India," ET quoted Agustawestalnd as saying via email.
Senior government officials, who did not want to be quoted, said MoD's communication to CBI happened in the first week of April. Investigators familiar with the matter told ET that CBI is considering whether some executives, not the company as an entity itself, were involved in unethical practices. "No final view has been taken," an investigator said, adding that the money trail was still being investigated and replies to the agency's letters rogatory are still awaited. A letter rogatory is a formal request to a foreign court for information.