Former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi arrested in helicopter scam

WION New Delhi, India Dec 09, 2016, 12.28 PM(IST)

SP Tyagi has been arrested by the CBI over the AgustaWestland chopper deal. Photograph:( AFP )

India's premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), today arrested former air chief marshall SP Tyagi for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore AugustaWestland chopper scam.

The CBI also arrested Delhi-based lawyer, Gautam Khaitan and SP Tyagi’s cousin, Sanjeev Tyagi, for accepting "illegal gratification" during the purchase of 12 VVIP choppers worth Rs 3,600 crore.

"This is for first time a former IAF chief has been arrested by the central probe agency," official sources said.

In 2014, India had scrapped a contract with Italian aerospace company Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force on grounds of alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks of Rs 423 crore for securing the deal.

Tyagi, who retired in 2007, has been questioned by the CBI extensively in the past in the case.

(WION with inputs from PTI)