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CBI questions West Bengal Governor as witness in AgustaWestland deal

Jun 27, 2014 03:09 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: The Cenntral Bureau of Investigation has questioned West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan in the AgustaWestland chopper scam probe. MK Narayanan was questioned as a witness in the scam probe.

MK Narayanan was the National Security Advisor at time of the chopper deal. He had presided over a meeting which made changes to technical specifications for VVIP Choppers.

These changes enabled Agusta to enter the eligibility criteria so deal could be worked out. The CBI wants to get more details on the reasons behind making those changes.

The CBI had said it wanted to record the statements of Narayanan, who was the then National Security Adviser, and Goa Governor BV Wanchoo, who was the then head of elite Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the Prime Minister. The deal in which allegations of Rs 360-crore bribe were levelled has been scrapped by the government last year. CBI claims the parameters regarding the height at which the helicopters can fly as also the flight evaluation were changed in a manner that enabled AgustaWestland to clinch the deal vis- -vis its competitor Sikorsky.

The CBI has registered a case against former IAF Chief SP Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen in the case of alleged bribery. The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he had reduced the height of the VVIP helicopters so that AgustaWestland is included in the bids.

It alleged reduction of service ceiling - maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally - allowed UK-based AgustaWestland to get into the fray as, otherwise its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.

(With additional information from PTI)