Finmeccanica, the Italian defence supplier that was served a show cause notice for cancellation of a contract by the Indian government over bribery allegations in the purchase of 12 AgustaWestland helicopters, on Friday replied that it had not resorted to corrupt practices to secure the deal.
"Following recent reports concerning the alleged involvement of AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica Group company, in irregularities relating to a contract for the supply of helicopters to the Indian government, Finmeccanica highlights that it has acted correctly throughout the 40 years it has operated in India, one of the most strategically important markets for the entire group,'' the company said in a publicised reply to the notice.
''In addition, Finmeccanica underlines that its companies have operated for many years and continue to operate in India, with managerial and operational autonomy, complying fully with Indian law and the ethics principles of the group.
''Finmeccanica is confident that AgustaWestland will demonstrate that it has fully complied with Indian law and the above mentioned ethics principles. Finmeccanica is ready to cooperate with the Indian authorities in order to clarify the matter and will collaborate in accordance with international procedures applicable to an investigation of this kind," the company said.
The defence ministry, which had given the firm time till Friday to reply to the show cause notice asking why the contract should not be cancelled in view of the bribery charges, will take a decision on the future of the Rs3,600-crore deal in the next few days, ministry officials said.
They said they will go through the response given by the Italian firm along with the evidence brought by an Italian minister and take a decision on the future of the deal in the next few days.