India's defence ministry has written to the central bureau of investigation seeking a probe into the $208-million Embraer aircraft deal that has come under cloud over alleged graft, Indian news agency PTI reported today.
The deal was inked in 2008 under the tenure of former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government between Brazilian company, Embraer, and the DRDO for three aircraft equipped with indigenous radars for AEW&C (airborne early warning and control systems).
Defence Research and Development Organization, the research and development wing of the defence ministry, chief on Monday briefed Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar.
The DRDO has already approached the Brazilian company Embraer for an explanation over media reports suggesting the firm had hired an Indian middlemen based in the United Kingdom to get the deal through in 2008.
"I am not going to give a knee jerk reaction and just make a statement based on rumours. I have asked for a report which will be submitted on Monday, and if the issues are of a criminal nature, then we can forward this case to the CBI for a criminal investigation and if there are just procedural issues then we can do an internal investigation," Parrikar was quoted as saying by media.
Embraer has been under investigation by the United States Justice Department since 2010 when a contract with the Dominican Republic raised the Americans' suspicions.