CBI registers case against Army officer for bribe

The CBI has registered a case against a Brigadier working with the Army Aviation Corps (AAC) for allegedly fudging trial flight records of helicopters.

The CBI received a document from Italy that shows that the officer demanded five million Euro bribe in 2010 from AgustaWestland.

The case under sections of Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered Brigadier V S Saini and unknown officers of the Army and the Defence Ministry after the agency received a fresh set of documents from Italian police, CBI officials said.

Saini and others have been also charged with abuse of official position and forgery among others. The Brigadier could not be reached for comments.

The CBI claimed that Saini was part of the team carrying out trials of helicopters.
The AAC was planning to purchase 197 light helicopters to replace its ageing Cheetah and Chetak fleet.

These choppers were meant to undertake reconnaissance and casualty evacuation operations in forward locations and high-altitude areas like Siachen, Ladakh, North Kashmir and Northeast. However, the acquisition process was cancelled in December 2007.

 During the investigations into the VVIP chopper deal involving AgustaWestland, the Italian investigators found mention of Saini in documents seized by them. In the VVIP chopper deal, former Air Chief S P Tyagi and 12 others were named and recently the government scrapped the deal with AgustaWestland.

Saini is accused of fudging the records of the trial flight of the helicopter to favour the company for which he and other unknown officers have received hefty commission.

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