Rubbishing the previous government’s claim that the Anglo-Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland was blacklisted by the UPA government, the defence ministry said Thursday its the current government that had actually put on hold all procurement and acquisition cases in the pipeline of six companies involved in the VVIP chopper scam.
“It is the present Government which through its order dated 03 July 2014, put on hold all procurement / acquisition cases in the pipeline of six companies figuring in the FIR registered by the CBI, namely: M/s Agusta Westland International Ltd., UK, M/s Finmeccanica, Italy and its group of companies, including subsidiaries and affiliates, M/s IDS, Tunisia, M/s Infotech Design System (IDS), Mauritius, M/s IDS Infotech Ltd., Mohali and M/s Aeromatrix Info Solution Pvt. Ltd., Chandigarh,” the statement said Thursday.
Stating that the core issue here is the corruption, the defense ministry has assured that under the new government, all the perpetrators will be brought to justice.
The statement further said, “On the core issue of corruption, the two concerned agencies, namely CBI and Enforcement Directorate are vigorously pursuing all aspects of the investigation, including the arrests and extradition of three foreign nationals, namely, Mr. Carlo Gerosa, Mr. Guido Haschke Ralph and Mr. Christian Michel James”.
Red Corner Notices were issued in December 2015 and January 2016 through Interpol under Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The statement said that extradition request has also been made for Christian Michel James. One of the agencies (Enforcement Directorate) has arrested an Indian national and attached approximately Rs. 11 crore of property belonging to Indian nationals and Mr. Christian Michel James.
Congress had on Tuesday claimed that AgustaWestland was blacklisted by the UPA dispensation but "removed" from the blacklist by the Modi government.
Congress leader and former Union minister Anand Sharma had said, "The chopper deal was scrapped. Action was taken by the UPA government. A K Antony, the then Defence Minister, had made a statement in Parliament and AgustaWestland was blacklisted".