The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to seek the approval of the court to conduct lie detection test on the people who have been questioned by the agency in the multi-crore AgustaWestland helicopter case, agency sources have said.
In March 2013, the CBI had booked former IAF Chief S.P. Tyagi and 12 others under charges of bribery, cheating and corruption in the VVIP copter deal. The former Air Chief, his cousins — Sanjeev alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep — as well as European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke were among 13 individuals who were named in the FIR as accused.
The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced the flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres, which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal. If the ceiling was not reduced, AgustaWestland choppers would not have been eligible for the bid. Agency officials said that the suspects have so far been very evasive in their replies and have not been able to satisfactorily respond to questions relating to the money trail in the scam. “The suspects have been trying to dodge us and have more or less remained evasive during the questioning by agency sleuths. Now we will be seeking the court’s approval to conduct lie detection test on them,” a source with the agency said.
Apart from the thirteen individuals, six companies, including Italy-based Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, Mohali-based IDS Infotech, Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix, IDS Tunisia and IDS Mauritius, have also been booked by the CBI in its FIR. The CBI had recently examined cousins Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep at its headquarters here. The agency also questioned Gautam Khaitan, a Delhi-based lawyer and an accused in the case.
“When interrogated, Sanjeev Tyagi did not deny his relations with European middlemen Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa and maintained that he knew them five to six years before the order (for the VVIP helicopter) was placed,” added the source.