Court directs CBI to cancel lookout circular against the ex-IAF chief

A Delhi court Friday directed the CBI to cancel the lookout circular (LOC) published against former IAF chief S P Tyagi, who is an accused in the VVIP chopper scam.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar directed the probe agency to inform the concerned authorities about it. CBI had published LOC against Tyagi in 2013. It is a circular published by the authorities to check if a person who is traveling is wanted by the law enforcement agencies.

The CBI on September 1, 2017, had filed a charge sheet in the case in which Tyagi and British national Christian Michel were called as accused along with others. Eight others were also named in the charge sheet in connection with a bribery case in the VVIP chopper deal.

Tyagi (73) is the first chief of the Indian Air Force to be charge-sheeted in corruption or a criminal case by the CBI. Tyagi and he has canceled all charges against him. On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Italy-based Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF over an alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.

The CBI has alleged there was an anticipated loss of 398.21 million euro (approximately Rs 2,666 crore) to the exchequer in the deal that was signed on February 8, 2010, for the supply of VVIP choppers worth 556.262 million euro.

Besides Tyagi, the agency has also charge-sheeted retired Air Marshal J S Gujral along with eight others, comprising five foreign nationals, in the charge sheet filed in the court. The company, AgustaWestland, is also one of the accused.

Others named in the charge sheet are — Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev alias Julie, advocate Gautam Khaitan, alleged European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel, Guido Haschke, former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini and former Finmeccanica Chairman Giuseppe Orsi.

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