Chopper deal: India encashes on bank guarantee of Agusta

Chopper deal: India encashes on bank guarantee of Agusta

India has encashed a guarantee of over Rs 250 crore deposited by AgustaWestland in a bank here even as it is preparing to file an appeal against an Italian court's stay on its move to encash another guarantee deposited in an Italian bank.

The Defence Ministry has received the money which was deposited in the State Bank of India here in the form of a guarantee in connection with Rs 3600 crore helicopter deal which has since been scrapped because of bribery charges, sources told PTI here.

The recovery took place even as an Italian court stayed India's move to encash bank guarantee of around Rs 2000 crore.

The Defence Ministry is planning to appeal against the stay.

The Anglo-Italian firm had approached the court in Italy against the Indian action initiated soon after scrapping of the Rs 3600 crore deal on January one.

AgustaWestland has deposited over 270 million Euros (over Rs 2200 crore) as guarantees in banks in India and Italy.

The Anglo-Italian is also learnt to have approached the Delhi High Court in a similar matter. The Italian court will hear the case again in mid-February.

India has been working on procedures to claim more than 650 million euros (about Rs 5,470 crore) from the company in the form of seizure of bank guarantees and imposing penalties.

India scrapped the deal on January one after finding that there was breach of pre-contract integrity pact by the company for supplying the choppers to the Air Force as there were allegations of payment of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 360 crore.

The Defence Ministry has already asserted that India will not lose any money in the Rs 3,600 crore deal in which payment of 30 per cent has already been made.

The deal was for supply of 12 AW-101 helicopters out of which three had already been delivered before the contract was frozen after allegations of kickbacks surfaced in February last year.

India terminated with immediate effect the agreement, which was signed on February 8, 2010, on grounds of breach of "the Pre-contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) and the agreement" by the firm, the ministry had said.

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