Agencies, New Delhi
Former Indian Airforce Chief S P Tyagi, whose name has figured in the Italian investigations as one of the beneficiaries, today denied the insinuations that bribes were paid to swing a Rs 3,600 crore deal during his tenure for purchasing a dozen helicopters for transporting VVIPs from an Italian firm.
Mr Tyagi, who was the Chief of IAF during 2004 and 2007, told a a news channel that the decision on the purchase was taken during 2003, thereby indicating that the decision was taken during the previous NDA regime when the Prime Minister’s Office was involved.
However, Air Chief Marshal denied the insinuation that the requirements in the helicopter were cleared during the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime.
The IAF, he said, could only make its recommendations and not make purchase decision. To the best of his knowledge the IAF had not made recommendations but it was the Special Protection Group which suggested changes in terms of height requirements for ferrying VVIPs. He denied his involvement, saying that the deal was signed in 2010 while he had already retired in 2007.
The former Air Chief Marshall, however, did not deny his blood relation with two of the names figuring among the beneficiaries of huge kickbacks in the Italian probe. ‘’I did talk to them when I came to know of their names came up and they denied any involvement and said they had nothing to do with defence.