12:00 AM, February 28, 2012
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Following reports that Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on Feb. 24 ordered a probe to find out if there was corruption in the Rs 3,500-crore deal to procure 12 helicopters for VVIPs from European defence firm Agusta Westland, its parent company has issued a statement denying any wrong doing. “With reference to articles published today, Finmeccanica declares that AgustaWestland is not involved in any irregularity concerning the supply of helicopters in India. No notice related to the purported investigations has been served to companies and officers of the Finmeccanica Group neither in Italy, nor in India,” the release said. India signed a contract worth Rs 3,546.17 crore in February, 2010, to procure 12 of these helicopters, of which eight would be for VVIP transportation and four for non-VVIP version. A few months before the deal was cleared by India, the Finance Ministry had raised issues relating to costs but it did not do so after security concerns over VVIPs were raised by the Special Protection Group (SPG) and the Indian Air Force, Antony had told the Parliament recently.
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