The Union Defence Ministry issued a final show-cause to AgustaWestland, the Anglo-Italian firm, asking why India should not cancel the 3600 crore Rupees contract of the company. The contract was meant for the purchase of 12 helicopters by India to ferry VVIPs and it violated the terms of the pre-integrity pact and contract for procurement. The Defence Minister gave 21 days to AgustaWestland for replying the notice issued by it.
At present, the VVIP Chopper contract in under probe by the Italian Agencies and the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on the alleged payment of bribe to some Indians that included the former Indian Air Chief, S.P. Tyagi.
Previously, 556 million euro was suspended by India after Italian Investors began to look into the allegations that AgustaWestland paid bribes for winning the contract.
AgustaWestland is an Anglo-Italian helicopter company that is owned by the Finmeccanica of Italy with the total capability provider in the vertical lift market.
It globally operates in the vertical lift market through a number of joint ventures and collaborative programmes with major European and American helicopter primes where the company has leading or primary roles.