MoD finally cracks whip, scraps Agustawestland VVIP chopper deal
MoD finally cracks whip, scraps Agustawestland VVIP chopper deal - Indian ExpressIndia on Wednesday cancelled Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland in view of bribery allegations, Defence Ministry sources told PTI.
The AgustaWestland had earlier told the Defence Ministry that it was not involved in any wrong doing in securing the Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
On October 10 last year, the Indian Express had reported that the Defence Ministry was considering going ahead with its plans to cancel the deal by invoking the stringent integrity pact.
As reported, the helicopter firm took recourse to the arbitration process — a lengthy legal process that involves the setting up of a three-member tribunal to decide on contract issues, claiming that the ministry's decision to freeze payments since February was against the provisions of the contract.
There were allegations that over Rs 300 crore in kickbacks were paid to Indian agents for securing the deal in AgustaWestland's favour.
The Anglo-Italian firm has already been issued the final show cause notice for cancellation of the deal and it has time till November 26 to reply to the same.
The show cause notice was issued by the Defence Ministry on October 21 in which it had given 21 days, that is till November 11, to the firm to submit its response. AgustaWestland had sought a meeting with the Ministry and obtained 15 days' more time to reply to the notice.