Agusta: Manmohan may be quizzed, Cong questions ‘timing’
The CBI is likely to question former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former officials in the PMO over the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, according to highly placed sources.
Along with Singh, the agency is also likely to question the former prime minister’s then principal secretary TKA Nair and former national security adviser MK Narayanan, sources said.
The CBI may also question its former director Ranjit Sinha and former special director Salim Ali over the 2013 probe into the deal for purchase of VVIP choppers.
The CBI had arrested former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi last week for allegedly influencing the Rs 3,600-crore deal in favour of AgustaWestland.
On Saturday, Tyagi’s counsel told a court that the then prime minister’s office was in the know of changes in specifications for purchase of VVIP helicopters, especially the reduction in the service ceiling to include AgustaWestland.
The CBI is now planning to approach the Centre for records from August 2013 to match the movement of its senior officials, who might have leaked the information to the PMO, sources said.
Tyagi, who was arrested along with his cousin Sanjiv alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, has denied any wrongdoing. All three are in CBI custody till December 14.
The Congress on Sunday raised questions on the ‘timing’ of the arrests.
Accusing CBI of acting as the government’s “puppet” by “planting false news” related to the VVIP chopper scam, Congress attacked the Modi dispensation saying it would not succeed in covering up the demonetisation “mess” through a “captive” CBI and should instead answer questions in Parliament.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should also own up the “malicious news plants” and the media should not fall prey to such tactics, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said following reports that former IAF chief S P Tyagi, arrested in connection with the VVIP chopper scam, had blamed the office of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.