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Ex-IAF chief denies wrong-doing, says chopper deal was collective decision

Former IAF chief SP Tyagi on Tuesday denied allegations that he had influenced the 3,600-crore deal for VVIP helicopters in favour of Italy’s AgustaWestland.

“My first reaction is shock... How can anybody say this, on what basis?” Tyagi said when asked whether he was involved in the VVIP chopper scam.

“They have blamed me for corrupt practices, in which I changed the height to assist AgustaWestland, although this decision was not against the public interest. But I was nevertheless being (called) corrupt,” the former IAF chief said.

“It would appear that the part of the loot came to me. I am shocked,” he said.

Referring to the case, he said, “This is not a new case. (It has been) going on for years. All the evidences were also presented to the court in Milan itself. The trial court in Milan gave judgement in which they said there was no case of corruption.”

“Same evidence was now produced in High Court. They seem to feel that it was done in corrupt practices. Why they have said it I am not in a position to comment,” he said.

Asked pointedly whether he had received money for the Augusta deal, Tyagi said, “No, no, no, no. This question hurts me.”  Asked whether his family members had received kickback, he said, “No.” 

On the change of height parameter of the helicopters, Tyagi said this is in public domain why the height was changed and who changed it.

He said it involved two governments led by NDA and UPA and the National Security Advisors of both the governments were part of the meetings.
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