Tyagi purchased properties in 'cash', didn't inform govt

Tyagi purchased properties in 'cash', didn't inform govt

Former India Air Force chief S P Tyagi had allegedly paid in cash to the tune of crores of rupees to purchase properties in Gurgaon when he was heading the force but did not declare those to the government, top CBI sources said today.

They also claimed that as per rules, Tyagi was bound to intimate the government about the acquisition of assets by him but he allegedly did not reveal.

The rules make it mandatory that any such acquisition of properties must be disclosed to the government in the absence of which the person can be proceeded against, the sources claimed.

Tyagi has so far not denied meeting middlemen and since he knew that middlemen are not allowed in defence deal, why did he not sounded alarm and recommended cancellation of the deal, they alleged.

Repeated calls to Tyagi seeking his comments remained unanswered. He also did not answer messages sent to him seeking reaction on the allegations.

Tyagi's counsel had earlier claimed that the decision to procure VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland was a "collective" one and Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was also a part of it.

The CBI sources said bail jurisprudence relies on the fact that if the accused is not able to tamper the evidence or influence the witnesses, bail is granted.

The special court has not passed any decision on the merit of the case, they said, adding that the agency has already filed an appeal before the Delhi high court challenging his bail claiming its probe would be "hampered" if he remains out.

The case relates to acquisition of 12 VVIP helicopters in a deal of about Rs 3,600 crore.
It is alleged that Tyagi recommended reductions in key parameters of the helicopters which made AgustaWestland a candidate in the deal.

CBI in its FIR has named him along with his three cousins for allegedly misusing official position to help the company.

The sources said the arrest of Tyagi is the beginning of investigation and its not the end and will cover "every gamut" of the contract given to the UK-based AgustaWestland.

In addition to the probe of the alleged bribe which is said to have reached Tyagi and his family members, the CBI sources said the agency is likely to expand its probe to those in in the political arena too.

They said the material, which was produced during the trial in Italy, was received by the agency through Letters Rogatory which will stand as evidence under Section 166 of the CrPC.

They further said the agency will probe every aspect of the alleged bribery including the questioning of people whose names surfaced during the hearing in Italian courts.

During the hearings in Italian courts, a handwritten note was produced by the prosecutors which carried 15 initials some of them were referred to be initials of some influential politicians.

They may be diary entries but if we are able to connect the dots and produce corresponding evidence including the money trail, it will be treated as evidence in the Indian courts, they said while replying to a query that scribbles and diary entries are not treated as evidence in India.

The sources, however, clarified that CBI is trying to get hold of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman, who is based in the UAE and is facing a Red Corner Notice.

They said another middleman Guido Haschke had entered plea bargain in Italian court and his testimonies will be used to examine the alleged role of various people in India. 

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