The bank accounts of former Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal (retd) S P Tyagi, and several other entities were frozen by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today in connection with an allegedly corrupt deal to purchase AgustaWestland helicopters from Italy's Finmeccanica.
Tyagi has been charged with corruption and conspiracy by the CBI, which says he and his three cousins were bribed to swing the contract for 12 helicopters to be used for ferrying VIPs in favour of Anglo-Italian defence firm AugustaWestland (AW), with Finmeccanica as the supplier.
The CBI says that Tyagi is suspected of misusing his official position to swing the deal worth Rs3,600 crore, signed in 2010, in return for kickbacks. The scandal came to light after a probe by Italian authorities earlier this year.
The Tyagis have denied wrongdoing in the deal. The former IAF chief says the deal was finalised three years after he had retired.
Those whose accounts have been frozen include the Indian agents of Finmeccanica. This move has given rise to speculation that the CBI could have found new leads in the case.
The CBI alleges that it has found documents that suggest that he changed the Air Force's required specifications to match Finmeccanica's offerings, allowing it to beat two other competitors.