Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: SC asks CBI to name officers to probe Radia tapes

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought the names of officers of the CBI, Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate who would scan the transcripts of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's telephone intercepts.

The investigators would ascertain if there was anything in the transcripts that attracted action under law.

A bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya asked Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval to give the names of five CBI officers who would go through the transcripts and prepare subject-wise, ministry-wise and time-wise reports for the consideration of the court.

The court also asked Raval to give names of the officers from the Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate who would be involved in the exercise.

Raval told the court that he would give the list to the court Thursday.

The court said it would pass its order on setting up of the team February 21. The court was hearing NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation's plea seeking a direction to make the contents of the transcripts public.

Senior Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, earlier suggested that the court may appoint a multi-agency task force to go through the transcript of the Radia tapes to ascertain if there was anything that attracted criminal prosecution.

Opposing the suggestion, Raval told the court that the CBI proposed to set up a team of five officers to go through the transcripts which run into 12,000 pages.

Bhushan said the CBI had often taken a stand that their hands were full and could not take up more cases and wondered why they were "anxious to take up such an enormous burden".

He said that even two years after registering the first information report (FIR) in the 2G case the CBI had done did nothing. This prompted Justice Singhvi to observe: "Why repeat it. We all know it."
Published: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013, 19:49 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Won't spare the guilty, cancellation depends on CBI inquiry: Antony

A day after he ordered a CBI probe into allegations of corruption in the VVIP chopper deal, Defence Minister A K Antony Wednesday took a strong line and promised stringent action against anyone found guilty, no matter what the "consequences".

He, however, did not respond clearly to questions about whether the deal would be scrapped. He said a call on the matter would be taken after the CBI inquiry, and that he would not hesitate to cancel it if wrongdoing was proven.

"Let CBI inquire this. Everything depends on CBI inquiry on this...We have already given this issue to the CBI. Let us see the progress of CBI inquiry. At any stage of the inquiry, if anybody is guilty, anywhere in the deals, they will have to pay the price," the minister said.

Replying to a question on whether the Special Protection Group (SPG) had an important role to play in clearing the deal even after objections were raised by his ministry, Antony said the case was indeed recommended by the SPG, but did not get into details.

"Initially Air Force and SPG, citing security reasons, they had recommended this case. Beyond that I cannot say anything at this moment. Everything is now with the CBI," he said.

"At this moment, I am not in the position to say anything about the details. Let the CBI inquire that. I don't want to say who is right, who is wrong. I am not a judge, I am not the investigating officer," Antony said.

Before ordering the CBI inquiry on Tuesday, the Defence ministry had for almost a year maintained that no action would be taken unless the Italians shared details of the formal probe with India.

The ministry now says action is likely to be taken on the basis of a preliminary inquiry report the CBI will file. "Once we get the preliminary inquiry report from CBI, strongest action will be taken against those found guilty," Antony said. He, however, added that he has no information yet on the role of former air chief S P Tyagi, who has been named in the Italian probe as a recepient of bribes.

"After the CBI report, we will take serious action that may include cancelling the deal...we don't want to jump the gun. We can get our money back even at this stage," Antony said, adding that there are provisions in the integrity pact by which we can "get back the entire money we paid to the vendor".

"Not a single pie from the Indian government we will lose. As per the DPP, any contract beyond Rs 300 crores, before finalising the contract, the vendor will have to sign an integrity pact with the government of India, agreeing to our conditions. If they violate that condition, they are liable to criminal action," the Defence minister said.
Express news service : New Delhi, Thu Feb 14 2013, 03:13 hrs

Monday, February 18, 2013

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Ex-minister’s kin linked to choppergate IT company

Coal scam-tainted Bagrodia’s brother is director of IDS Infotech
NEW DELHI: Former Union minister of state for coal and Congress leader Santosh Bagrodia’s younger brother Satish Bagrodia is a director in Chandigarh-based IDS Infotech Limited, which Italian investigators allege was a key vehicle in routing the AgustaWestland deal bribe money to India in the garb of fake software and engineering contracts.

According to documents accessed by Hindustan Times, Partap Krishan Agarwal is managing director of IDS Infotech and Satish Bagrodia, his two sons Ashish and Manish, and Yog Prakash Agarwal and Narinder Agarwal are the other directors. Satish and Manish were appointed directors in 1989 and Ashish in 2005.

“I have nothing to do with the business ventures of my brother,” said Santosh Bagrodia when contacted by HT. “At the time of joining politics in 1986, on my suggestion, we four brothers separated our respective businesses.”

This is not the first time, though, that his brothers’ business ventures have landed Santosh in controversy. In the coal block allocation scam, allegations were leveled against Santosh over a Rs600-crore mining contract awarded by a unit of state-owned Coal India Limited during his tenure in the coal ministry to Cuprum Bagrodia, a company of another of his brothers, Vinod. Santosh was coal minister between April 2008 and May 2009.

Satish told HT that IDS Infotech provided business and software solutions to AgustaWestland till 2009, when it “sold” this business to Aeromatrix, another Chandigarhbased firm.

And along with the business went Praveen Bakshi, an executive vice-president at IDS Infotech till 2009 and now CEO of Aeromatrix, in which two Italians, Guido Ralph Hasckhe and Carlo Gerosa, were directors. Hasckhe and Gerosa have been named by Italian prosecutors as middlemen in the Rs3,760-crore AgustaWestland deal.

Santosh Bagrodia (left) was MoS for coal between April 2008 and May 2009. His name cropped up in the coal scam Younger brother Satish (right) is an equal partner of Partap K Agarwal in IDS Infotech, named by Italian investigators as a vehicle for channeling bribes to India to secure the chopper deal

THE CBI HAS engaged a lawyer in Italy to represent India’s case with the Italian govt and the local courts to find out the role of Indians in the alleged kickbacks

OFFICIAL SOURCES said that the assistance of a lawyer was taken to help understand the Italian law

THE LAWYER, if necessary, will approach the court in Italy for procurement of documents related to the deal, they said.

Alleged middleman Guido Haschke had “cleaned up” all the documents from his computer that related to the VVIP chopper deal with Italian investigators saying the details could open a “Pandora’s box”

But to Haschke’s misfortune, the documents were retrieved from his computer hard drive along with other papers hidden at his mother’s home Former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi had allegedly appointed Haschke for the deal

US helicopter-maker Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which had lost the ` 3,760crore chopper deal to AgustaWestland, is preparing to reenter the arms race with an upgraded platform, should India float a fresh global tender.
  18 Feb 2013
    Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
    Rajesh Ahuja rajesh.ahuja@hindustantimes.com

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Sikorsky to re-enter VVIP chopper fray

STAGING A COMEBACK US firm to field upgraded S-92 choppers if India floats new global tender

NEW DELHI: US helicopter-maker Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which lost the R3,760- crore VVIP chopper deal to Agusta Westand, is preparing to re-enter the competition with an upgraded platform if India floats a fresh global tender.

India is terminating its contract with AgustaWestland following a kickback scandal.

Sikorsky had offered its S-92 choppers to India, but it failed to meet key requirements during the February 2008 US trials.

Air Vice- Marshal AJS Walia (retd), Sikorsky’s India and South Asia head, told HT, “We will re-enter the fray if India floats a new tender. Shortcomings in the chopper will be addressed.”

The IAF’s report, submitted in April 2008, found the twin-engine S-92 lacking on four counts: missile approach warning system, service ceiling of 4,500 metres, the stipulated drift down altitude and hover out of ground effect.

HT had reported on Saturday India would consider going back to Russia to acquire a new VVIP fleet to replace its ageing Mi-8 choppers. A fresh tender may not be floated as this could delay the process, but the government is yet to take a final call on it.

All military purchases have to be made through competitive bidding. However, switching to a new vendor, Russia in this case, would not require tendering as this would be considered a “follow-on” order since India has already booked 139 Mi-17 V5 choppers for R13,200 crore.
    18 Feb 2013
    Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
    Rahul Singh rahul.singh@hindustantimes.com


NEW DELHI: The Central Vigilance Commission has sought a report from the defence ministry on alleged irregularities in the controversial R3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal.

The chief vigilance officer of the ministry has been asked to furnish the report on the charges of alleged corruption raised in a complaint sent to the CVC, sources in the anti-corruption watchdog said. They said the complaint alleging corruption in the deal was received by the commission and it was sent to the CVO, who acts as a distant arm of the CVC, of the ministry as per standard practice.

NEW DELHI: Alleged middleman Guido Haschke had “cleaned up” all the documents from his computer related to the chopper deal in which kickbacks were allegedly involved with Italian investigators saying the details could open a “Pandora’s box”.

But to Haschke’s misfortune the documents were retrieved from his computer hard drive along with other papers he had hidden at his mother’s home. “He thought he had deleted everything, buried every track on the big business on behalf of Finmeccanica. He had ‘cleaned up’ his computer and he felt calm,” a daily said quoting the Italian investigators’ report.

NEW DELHI: An Indian team will leave for Italy Monday to meet prosecutors and other officials to gather details of bribery allegations into the helicopter deal.

The team will include CBI DIG Mahipal Yadav, joint secretary in the ministry of defence (MoD) Arun Kumar Bal and a law officer from the CBI.

“We have to seek Italian probe reports in the case from official channel duly certified by Indian embassy officials in order to use them as evidence in courts here. Services of an Italian lawyer will be at the disposal of the team to help them with local legal practices,” said a source.

The IAF’s report, submitted in April 2008, found the twin-engine S-92 lacking on four counts: missile approach warning system, service ceiling of 4,500 metres, the stipulated drift down altitude and hover out of ground effect.

HT had reported on Saturday India would consider going back to Russia to acquire a new VVIP fleet to replace its ageing Mi-8 choppers.
    18 Feb 2013
    Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
    Aloke Tikku atikku@hindustantimes.com

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Haschke went for hard drive, but left a trail

Files with details of middleman’s meetings and transactions retrieved
New Delhi: Italian investigators probing alleged kickbacks in the Rs3,760-crore deal for 12 choppers for Indian VVIPs with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland have stumbled upon a “Pandora’s box”. They claim to have recovered during a raid crucial documents and a hard drive from the computer of Swiss middleman Guido Haschke, which he stashed at his mother’s house, containing details of the deal.

They suspect that Haschke had tried to ‘clean up’ all information on the deal from his computer before hiding it in his mother’s house. But investigators managed to retrieve about a hundred PDF files containing minute details of his appointments, meetings with Indian intermediaries in Italy and Lugano as well as several international transactions, including that of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica, which clinched the deal for AgustaWestland, besides several documents in a suitcase.

Haschke is alleged to have been appointed by former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi for bagging the deal.

A report in Italian newspaper Republica quoted an investigator saying the hard drive is “a real Pandora’s box”. “...in those files, there is a sea of international affairs, including those of Finmeccanica,” claimed the investigator.

Meanwhile in India, the central vigilance commission sought a report from the defence ministry on the alleged irregularities in the deal.

“He thought he had deleted everything, buried every track on the big business on behalf of Finmeccanica. He had ‘cleaned up’ his computer and he felt calm,” the daily said quoting the Italian investigators’ report.
It said the prosecutors in Italian court Tribunale de Busto Arsizio recovered the “computer hard drive of Haschke where the intermediary had recorded the whole story about the sale of helicopters and other business”.

The retrieved files which have particularly drawn both investigators and prosecutors’ attention are those named Anaconda and Swiss Mangusta.
The newspaper report said these documents and files will be used by the prosecution to “rebuild” responsibilities and roles of all accused in the scam. It added that Orsi’s complicity in allegedly paying Rs360 crore to bag the deal will also be determined from a “reading of the documents”.

The investigators went for Haschke’s computer based on an intercepted conversation between him and his partner and arms dealer, Carlo Gerosa, in which the Swiss mediator said: “They (investigators and prosecutors in Naples) most likely have nothing in hand.... we are maintaining a high level of alert. I cleaned every single piece of paper from my office. I cleaned out the computer completely. In fact, you know what I did? I removed the old computer I had and I took another where there is nothing. So even if you check the data deleted, [you] will not find anything and now, I’m deleting all the messages passed by the server in the office...”

CBI hires Italian lawyer: Meanwhile, the CBI has engaged a lawyer in Italy to represent India’s case with the Italian government and the local courts to find out the role of Indians in the alleged kickbacks.
Official sources on Sunday said a lawyer’s assistance is being taken to help understand the Italian law and to expedite the process of procurement of documents from the helicopter company, if necessary.

Deal to be focus during Cameron’s visit: Besides, British prime minister David Cameron is likely to be pressed for more information in this regard during his meetings with the leadership on Tuesday.

The 12 helicopters, three of which have already been delivered, are manufactured in south-west England. AgustaWestland used to be a UK firm but was later taken over by Finmeccanica. Cameron’s visit comes in the wake of India taking steps to scrap the chopper contract.
Pradip R Sagar l @pradiprsagar
Published Date:  Feb 18, 2013


Haschke tried to erase key info on Indian links
But Italian prosecutors say they have managed to retrieve crucial details from the middleman’s computer
NEW DELHI Alleged middleman Guido Haschke, who is accused of playing a key role in swinging the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal in Agusta Westland's favour, had "cleaned up" all the documents from his computer, the Italian investigators have said, adding thatthedetailscouldopena"Pandora's box".

But to Haschke's misfortune the documents were retrieved from his computer hard drive along with other papers he had hidden at his mother's home.

Haschke is alleged to have been appointed by former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi to clinch the deal for AgustaWestland in which 51 million euros (Rs 368 crore) was allegedly paid as kickbacks.

According to reports in the Italian media, the investigators have termed the information found in his computer drives as "Pandora's box" where he has noted details of his appointments, his meetings with Indian intermediaries--inItalyandLugano,Switzerland -- and several international transactions including that of Finmeccanica.

These documents are being used by the prosecutors in the Italian court Tribunale de Busto Arsizio to build their case in fixing responsibilties of several accused including former Finmeccanica chief Giuseppe Orsi for allegedly bribing to bag the Rs 3,600 crore deal.

The prosecutors, in their report, have told the court of Busto Arsizio that they have recovered "computer hard drives of Haschke where the intermediary had recorded the whole story about the sale of helicopters and other business", Italian daily Republica said on Sunday.

"Documents and files that are now on the table of the Prosecutor of Busto Arsizio, Eugenio Fusco, who is trying to rebuild any responsibilities and roles of the protagonists of this 'affair'," it said.

The report has also named Christian Michel, 52, as another key intermediary between the helicopter manufacturer and India's former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi.

According to court documents, Michel, as a consultant to Agusta Westland, had "promised and effectively funnelled, through the cousins Julie Tyagi, Docsa Tyagi and Sandeep Tyagi, sums of money, whose full amount has not been fully quantified, to former SP Tyagi, the head of the Indian Air Force from 2004 to 2007 [...] in order to carry out and for having carried out an act contrary to his official duty”.

An arrest warrant for Giuseppe Orsi,thechiefexecutiveofFinmeccanica, the Italian parent company of the helicopter group, said he had "transmitted to the consultant Michel Christian, the sum of around 30 million euros (roughly Rs 216 crore) , in order in part to carry out corrupt activity with the goal of acquisition of the deal and the execution of the contract".

For a man who is accused of getting the major chunk of the Rs 296 crore in middleman commission by Orsi, Michel has been the most low profile.

According to Italian investigators, Orsi had cut Michel into the deal to the dismay of Haschke and a third middleman Carlo Gerosa, whose company was based in Tunis, according to the public prosecutor's interrogations of Haschke and Lorenzo Borgogni, a former head of external relations department, Finmeccanica.

"There were two contracts, one with Christian Michel and one with Haschke," said Borgogni. "In total they were worth around 41 million euros (roughly Rs 296 crore) in commission".

Carlos is the only one of the three middlemen -- at the centrestage of the Italian investigation into the corrupt deal -- whom former Air Force chief Tyagi has publicly admitted of meeting, but has categorically denied any involvement in the scam. AGENCIES

AugustaWestland issued a statement on Sunday that "the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has not cancelled the contract and has just asked the company to provide clarification on the issue within seven days. The statement comes a day after media reports that the Indian government had initiated the process of cancelling the contract for the VVIP choppers.

Arriving here within days of exposure of the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopters scam involving Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to be pressed for more information in this regard during his meetings with the leadership on Tuesday. The visit also comes amid reports that India may scrap the contract with AgustaWestland, which may lead to significant job losses in the UK where the helicopters are manufactured.
Manu Pubby : New Delhi, Mon Feb 18 2013, 01:20 hrs

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Middleman talks of Tunisia firm link to 'senior Tata executive'

Italian investigators probing money trail in the VVIP chopper deal kickbacks have stumbled upon the name of a suspected top Tata Steel executive. He figures in the conversation between one of the key accused middlemen and AgustaWestland officials, where they are discussing their line of defence before the prosecutors.

The name crops up in the context of a company being set up in Tunisia, with Switzerland-based middleman Guido Haschke claiming that it is a buffer company that will not directly link him to the chopper firm. An Italian investigation report, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, notes that "the link to Tunisia is important as AgustaWestland is paying Haschke's 'dues' in Tunisia".

The man is named in the conversation as "Partha" and Italian investigators have noted in the report that the reference seems to be to Partha Sengupta, vice-president of Tata Steel, who is alleged to have been in regular touch with top Agusta official Bruno Spagnolini, who is among those arrested in Italy.

Sengupta denied any association with the persons named in the report in reply to a detailed questionnaire sent by The Indian Express. "I have no knowledge or association with any of the persons you have mentioned. I have no personal or business dealings with them," he said.

While the Tatas have a joint venture with AgustaWestland to build choppers in Hyderabad, the company has denied any link with marketing, sales or representation of any product of the Italian company. They have said they do not envisage any impact on the proposed joint venture.

As per the Italian investigation report, Haschke and Spagnolini had a detailed conversation on how to hide the former's link with AgustaWestland and discussed how Partha helped set up a company in Tunisia.

Excerpts from a conversation secretly recorded by prosecutors on March 5, 2012, allegedly in the bugged Audi A 6 car belonging to Haschke:

Spagnolini: When those people there, the Indians, now I don't remember the name, Papa, Pata...

Haschke: Ah, Partha.

S: Exactly. He came in.

H: Yes.

S: In 2007-2008 to do some...

H: Exactly.

S: Some engineering work etc, etc he came...

H: Sure.

S: And when we made the contract with him, actually it was the (inconclusive word) contract, then when he, as written in the present contract, when he shifted his activities to Tunisia... Well there is a link with that man.

H: With that man, because it was them who started the company in Tunisia.

S: Yes.

As the conversation goes on, investigators conclude that "Spagnolini seems relieved by this information which does not link directly Haschke to AgustaWestland and consequently to Finmeccanica and says 'ok... perfect, this is what we wanted to clarify'."

Italian investigators also note that the last bit in the conversation that again refers to Partha concerns Haschke saying he found business for them (Tata) and not you (Agusta).

Haschke: I found business for them not you.

H: And if that man is interrogated, he will confirm it, as he knows he is telling the truth. Also because he was bothering me until six months ago so that I gave him more business.

Italian investigators also note in the report that the names of both Partha and Tata are "heard during conversations of Spagnolini and his secretary Daniela, as they — Tata — are recipients of agreements, because they may be having financial agreements".

In response to a query by The Indian Express, a Tata spokesperson said: "Indian Rotocraft Ltd is a joint venture between Tatas and AgustaWestland to manufacture AW119ke helicopters in a plant that is being establised in Hyderabad as part of the Tata aerospace thrust. The company is not involved in the marketing, sales or representation of any other AgustaWestland product."

The AW 119ke, incidentally, was competing for a contract to supply 197 choppers to the Indian Army but was thrown out during the flight trials.

"In entering the aerospace sector, the Tata Group decided it would not represent any aerospace company in India for their finished products — military or civilian. The Tatas have therefore not been involved in representing their joint venture partners for any aircraft sale to the government, any PSU or the defence forces," the statement added.

The Tatas also said Indian Rotocraft Ltd's business remit did not include any defence-related sales and it planned to export the assembled helicopters to AgustaWestland for it to sell to its customers. While the venture may sell these helicopters to the Indian domestic civil market too at a later date, it would be only for civilian usage, said the Tatas, as per the joint venture's stated intent to operate only in the civilian market.

The Tatas have also reiterated they have no connection with the VVIP helicopter deal.
Manu Pubby : New Delhi, Mon Feb 18 2013, 01:20 hrs

हेलिकॉटर घोटाला: बिचौलिये ने हेलिकॉप्टर डील से जुड़े सबूत मिटा दिए थे: रिपोर्ट

नई दिल्ली।। हेलिकॉप्टर डील में कथित बिचौलिया गुइदो हाश्क ने घोटाले से जुड़े सभी दस्तावेज अपने कंप्यूटर से मिटा दिए थे लेकिन इतालवी जांचकर्ताओं ने उसके हार्ड डिस्क से उन दस्तावेजों को हासिल कर लिया है। इसके साथ ही उसकी मां के घर में छिपाए गए कई अन्य दस्तावेज भी बरामद किए गए हैं।

रिपोर्टों के अनुसार इतालवी जांचकर्ताओं ने उसके कंप्यूटर ड्राइव में मिले दस्तावेजों को भानुमती का पिटारा करार दिया है। इसमें उसने इटली और लुगानो में भारतीय मध्यस्थों से भेंट, अपने कार्यक्रम और फिनमेकनिका सहित विभिन्न अंतरराष्ट्रीय लेनदेन आदि का ब्यौरा दर्ज किया है।

इतालवी दैनिक रिपब्लिका की रिपोर्टों में कहा गया है कि अभियोजक इन दस्तावेजों का इस्तेमाल इटली की एक अदालत में अपना मुकदमा तैयार करने के लिए कर रहे हैं। इस मामले में अभियोजन पक्ष कई आरोपियों की जवाबदेही तय करने पर जोर दे रहा है। इन आरोपियों में फिनमेकनिका के पूर्व प्रमुख ग्यूसेप ओर्सी शामिल हैं। उन सब पर आरोप है कि 3,600 करोड़ रुपये की डील हासिल करने के लिए 360 करोड़ रुपये की रिश्वत दी गई थी।

इटली के जांच अधिकारियों की रिपोर्ट का हवाला देते हुए दैनिक अखबार ने कहा है कि इतालवी बिचौलिये ने सोचा था कि उसने सब कुछ मिटा दिया है और अपने कंप्यूटर की पूरी तरह से सफाई कर दी है।
भाषा | Feb 17, 2013, 06.42PM IST

हेलिकॉटर घोटाला: दलाली में पूर्व कांग्रेसी मंत्री के भाई भी शामिल?

नई दिल्ली।। हेलिकॉप्टर घोटाले में एक पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री और कांग्रेस सांसद के भाई का नाम सामने आ रहा है। एक अंग्रेजी अखबार के मुताबिक पूर्व कोयला राज्यमंत्री संतोष बागरोड़िया के भाई सतीश बागरोड़िया चंडीगढ़ की उस कंपनी में डायरेक्टर के पद पर तैनात हैं, जिस पर आरोप है कि उसने ऑगस्ता वेस्टलैंड डील में रिश्वत देने के लिए पैसे लिए थे। गौरतलब है कि इसके पहले बागरोड़िया पर अपने भाई की कंपनी को कोयला ब्लॉक दिलाने के आरोप लगे थे।

अखबार की खबर के मुताबिक, पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री के छोटे भाई सतीश बागरोड़िया चंडीगड़ की सॉफ्टवेयर कंपनी आईडीएस इन्फोटेक के डायरेक्टर हैं। इटैलियन जांच कर्ताओं ने आईडीएस को अगल्ता वेस्टलैंड से हुए सौदे में रिश्वत की रकम भारत पहुंचाने में शामिल होने का दावा किया है।

आरोप है कि कंपनी ने फर्जी सॉफ्टवेयर और इंजिनियरिंग प्रोजेक्ट बनाकर इटली की कंपनी से भारत में पैसा मंगवाया था। इटली के जांचकर्ताओं का मानना है कि 1 मार्च 2007 को दोनों फर्मों के बीच हुआ करार दलाली की रकम को भारत पहुंचाने के लिए किया गया।

खबर के मुताबिक, कृष्ण प्रताप अग्रवाल आईडीएस इन्फोटेक के मैनेजिंग डायरेक्टर हैं। सतीश बागरोड़िया और उनके दो बेटे मनीष और आशीष कंपनी के डायरेक्टर हैं। कंनपी में सतीश और मनीष की नियुक्ती 1989 में हुई, जबकि आशीष 2005 में कंपनी में डायरेक्टर बने।

इस मामले पर पूर्व मंत्री संतोष बागरोड़िया ने कहा कि मेरा अपने भाई के बिजनेस से कोई लेना-देना नहीं है। 1986 में राजनीति में कदम रखने के बाद हमारे चारों भाइयों ने अपना बिजनस अलग-अलग कर लिया था। भाइयों के बिजनस से अब मेरा कोई मतलब नहीं।
नवभारतटाइम्स.कॉम | Feb 18, 2013, 11.21AM IST

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: After Express reported on Italy probe in Oct, CVC sought report; he still waits

A day after the defence ministry claimed that it had made all efforts to investigate the alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal, it has emerged that the Central Vigilance Commission had asked the ministry for a report last October, and is still waiting for a response.

The information, it is learnt, was sought on the basis of an October 22, 2012 report in The Indian Express about the arrest of Swiss-based middleman Guido Haschke by Italian authorities. The report also had details about the alleged role of a Chandigarh-based company in the scandal and said that the commission money was routed through companies based in Mauritius and Tunisia.

The CVC had taken note of the deal in 2009 as well when a Member of Parliament had written letters raising doubts about the evaluation process. At that time, however, the matter was closed following a "satisfactory explanation" from the Defence ministry.

After the latest round of disclosures this week leading to the government deciding to cancel the contract, the CVC is closely examining how the sensitive CBI probe that has been ordered, should be supervised, sources said.

Meanwhile, former defence secretary Vijay Singh, during whose tenure the deal was firmed up, told The Indian Express that the revelations before the Italian court needed to be taken very seriously.

"This particular issue is very specific. It is based in depositions before a court that have to be taken seriously. No time should be lost to take any action against those named as well as on a decision about the future of this acquisition," Singh said.

About the deal having been concluded during his tenure, Singh said, "We felt that the procedures were above board in every respect but yet this again highlights the dangers posed by middlemen who seek to make a living out of such contracts."

The Defence ministry, in a detailed note issued Thursday on the procurement, had sought to blame the External Affairs ministry for not starting an early probe, saying that the MEA had asked it not to proceed on the basis of news reports.
Manu Pubby : New Delhi, Sat Feb 16 2013, 01:06 hrs

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Brig, 2 IAF officers manipulated specifications for deal

MoD puts contract on hold, CBI will send probe team to Italy
New Delhi: Pushed to the wall by the Italian government’s probe into the alleged payment of bribes to Indians for the Rs 3,750 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, the ministry of defence (MoD) has instituted an internal inquiry even as it gets ready to cancel the deal. According to sources in the MoD, they have also found prima facie evidence that the specifications for the tender were tweaked to favour AgustaWestland.

The CBI will send its team to Italy next week to investigate the scam.
The process of cancellation of the contract with Italian firm Finnmeccanica was initiated on Friday afternoon. Sources told DNA that during the internal probe, names of two senior IAF officers and an Army Brigadier has emerged as the people who changed the technical specifications to favour the Italian major.

“During the probe, the names of two high ranked officers of the Air headquarters in New Delhi and an army officer has come out, as they were part of the committee to change parameters of technical specifications,” a senior MoD official told DNA. But despite indications, the MoD could not take any administrative action against these officers, as the government is awaiting a reply from their Italian counterparts.

“The MoD today issued a formal show cause notice to the AgustaWestland of the UK seeking cancellation of contract and taking other actions according to the terms of the contract and the Integrity Pact,” MoD spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said.

“With today’s show cause notice, the operation of the contract has been put on hold,” Kar added.
According to defence ministry officials, the government will also go for blacklisting the firm. Blacklisting of Finnmeccanica will lead to affect its military business of worth $8 billion (Rs, 44,000 crore) with India. After cancellation of the VIP chopper deal, the three AW 101 that have been delivered will be returned and the paid money will be forfeited.
Published Date:  Feb 16, 2013
Pradip R Sagar l @pradiprsagar

Agusta Westland Chopper SCAM: Haschke fixed meetings of Finmeccanica, Tyagi

New Delhi: The Switzerland-based middleman Guido Haschke Ralph used to flaunt his connections with top IAF officials to impress Finmeccanica officials, according to the Italian police report, copy of which is accessed by DNA.
During the interrogation, Haschke told Italian investigators he first met Julie Tyagi, one of the cousins of former IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, at the wedding of his partner Carlo Gerosa’s daughter in 2005. He used his connections to meet CEO of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi, who was arrested by the Italian police on Monday.

According to the investigation report submitted by the Italian police in Busto Arsizio, Italy, right after former Italian President Carlo Ciampi visited India in 2005, Haschke arranged a meeting of a top Finmeccanica executive and SP Tyagi.

Haschke told the investigators that after this meeting, AgustaWestland signed its first contract with his company, Gordian.

The probe report also claims that with that arrangement, AgustaWestland agreed to make an initial payment of 4 lakh euros — Hashke and Carlo Gerosa would share 3 lakh euros while the rest would go to the Tyagi brothers.

“The money was given to Julie in cash during our trips to India. I specify that the agreement was with the Tyagi family, but the money was materially given only to Julie,” Haschke said.

On Friday, Guiseppe Orsi, former president of Finmeccanica, denied being involved in any bribery scandal and denied meeting Tyagi brothers. “I never knew of illegal maneuvers” as part of the sale of helicopters to India, said Giuseppe Orsi in front of a magistrate in Naples.
Full report: http://dnai.in/bfdF
Published Date:  Feb 16, 2013
DNA Correspondent l @DNA

4 held for murder of CIDCO official

Accused Prem Patil said official had taken Rs 3 lakh from him, promising that his client would get land under rehab

Five days after a CIDCO official was found murdered in Navi Mumbai, the Panvel police on Friday arrested four in connection with the crime.

Atul Mhatre (35), responsible for the development of land acquired under CIDCO’s rehabilitation scheme, went missing from Panvel on February 8. Two days later, his body was found in Manghar with several stab wounds.

As per the statement given to the police by main accused Prem Patil, 24, a real estate agent, Mhatre had taken Rs 3 lakh from him promising him that his client would get land under the scheme. However, when he learned that his client’s name was not in the list of allottees, he plotted to kill Mhatre.

The police said Patil roped in Nitin Bhoir (23), Andy Cruz (27) and Kunal Salunke (25) to execute his plan. Patil allegedly paid Rs 1 lakh to Cruz and promised to pay Rs 2 lakh after the job.

Giving details of the investigation, the police said that after Mhatre went missing his car was found abandoned near his office on the Uran Panvel Road. They also recovered Mhatre’s wig and chappals from the vehicle.

The police then went through his mobile phone call records and rounded up a few suspects but could not make any headway. However, a tip-off led them to Patil, who confessed to the crime. He also revealed the names of others involved in the crime.

“The four men picked up Mahtre near Vahad village in Panvel and took him in Patil’s car. It was  in the car that Cruz stabbed Mahtre to death. The suspects then threw the body near Manghar,” said R Gharavle, senior inspector of Panvel police station.

Patil has told the police that Mhatre’s senior had showed him the list of people who would be getting land under the rehabilitation scheme, after which he had argument with Mhatre in CIDCO office.

“We had called Mhatre’s senior for questioning but he did not mention the altercation. We will investigate further to see if any official is involved in the case,” added Gharavle.

Speaking to Mirror, Mhatre’s brother said, “Atul had mentioned that Patil was forcing him to get him a plot, but he could not do so as the documents submitted by him were bogus. The police should investigate the role of the officers who are involved in the dealing.”
Mustafa.Shaikh @timesgroup.com

हेलिकॉटर घोटाला: 'पूर्व वायुसेना अध्यक्ष त्यागी से पहचान नहीं'

नई दिल्ली।। भारत के साथ 12 वीवीआईपी हेलिकॉप्टरों की डील में 362 करोड़ रुपये रिश्वत लेने के आरोप में गिरफ्तार फिनमेकनिका के पूर्व सीईओ जूसिपी ओरसी ने इटली में चल रही जांच में भारत के तत्कालीन वायुसेना अध्यक्ष एस पी त्यागी के परिवार से पहचान होने से इनकार किया है।

ओरसी को 3600 करोड़ रुपये के सौदे में इस हफ्ते की शुरुआत में इतालवी जांच एजेंसियों ने गिरफ्तार किया था। ओरसी के वकील एनिओ अमोदियो के मुताबिक इतालवी मैजिस्ट्रेट के सामने पेश हुए ओरसी ने स्विस-अमेरिकी गुइडो हाश्क को भारत में डील के लिए लॉबिंग करने, त्यागी परिवार से जान पहचान और सौदे के लिए गैरकानूनी तरकीबें लगाने के आरोपों से इनकार किया।

वीवीआईपी हेलिकॉप्टर डील में आरोपी बिचौलिया गुइडो हाश्क पर आरोप है कि वह अगस्ता-वेस्टलैंड के पक्ष में डील करवाने के लिए ओरसी की तरफ से दलाल की भूमिका निभा रहा था। ओरसी के वकील अमोदियो ने कहा कि सौदे में ओरसी की भूमिका के बारे में हाश्क का बयान किसी के द्वारा प्रेरित हो सकता है क्योंकि उसने अपने पहले के बयान की तुलना में काफी फेरबदल किया है।

हाश्क ने इतालवी जांच एजेंसियों के सामने गवाही में पूर्व वायुसेना अध्यक्ष एस पी त्यागी के खिलाफ सनसनीखेज इल्जाम लगाए। इटली की जांच एजेंसी की रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि गुइडो हाश्क ने एस पी त्यागी से मिलकर टेंडर की शर्तें बदलवाईं। रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक 2006 में एस पी त्यागी से उनकी पहली मुलाकात हुई और इसके बाद भी दोनों कई बार मिले। हाश्क ने अपनी गवाही में यहां तक कहा कि इन मुलाकातों में भी टेंडर की शर्त बदलने पर चर्चा हुई। हालांकि पूर्व एयर चीफ मार्शल एस पी त्यागी का दावा है कि हाश्क से उनकी कोई मुलाकात नहीं हुई।

अगस्ता-वेस्टलैंड के सीईओ ओरसी के वकील ने इस बात से इनकार किया कि उनके मुवक्किल ने मामले की सुनवाई कर रही इतालवी अदालत पर किसी भी तरीके से दबाव डालने और सरकारी वकील बदलने की कोशिश की। ओरसी ने शुक्रवार को कंपनी के अध्यक्ष और निदेशक पद से इस्तीफा दे दिया था।

भारत ने हेलिकॉप्टर सौदे को रद्द करने के लिए कदम उठाना शुरू कर दिया है। इसके साथ ही कारण बताओ नोटिस जारी कर यह भी पूछा गया है कि मामले में हाल के घटनाक्रम के बाद सौदे को रद्द क्यों न कर दिया जाए।
एजेंसियां | Feb 16, 2013, 07.11PM IST

हेलिकॉप्टर घोटाला: धीमी सीबीआई दे रही है सबूत खत्म करने का वक्त

नई दिल्ली।। अगस्तावेस्टलैंड के हेलिकॉप्टर मामले में रक्षा मंत्रालय से शिकायत मिलने के 2 दिन बाद सीबीआई ने शुक्रवार को शिकायत दर्ज की। ऐसा लगता है कि सीबीआई इस मामले में धीमी कार्रवाई कर रही है और वह संदिग्ध लोगों को सबूत खत्म करने का पर्याप्त वक्त दे रही है। सीबीआई इस मामले से जुड़े लोगों से पूछताछ करने का अहम वक्त भी गंवा रही है। इस मामले में जांच के लिए CBI और रक्षा मंत्रालय की टीम रविवार को इटली जाएगी।

सीबीआई ने अभी प्रिलिमिनरी इन्क्वॉयरी (पीई) भी दर्ज नहीं की है, जो कि घोटाले के मामले में मंत्रालय, कोर्ट या किसी भी बड़ी अथॉरिटी से शिकायत मिलने के बाद पहला कदम होना चाहिए।

सीबीआई ने इसके लिए बहुत कमजोर बहाना बनाया है कि उसे अभी तक सभी रिपोर्ट्स नहीं मिली हैं और रक्षा मंत्रालय की शिकायत पीई दर्ज करने के लिए नाकाफी है। हालांकि सूत्रों के मुताबिक पीई पहली जानकारी पर ही दर्ज की जाती है और उसके बाद जांच शुरू की जाती है।

सीबीआई के सूत्रों ने बताया कि उन्होंने इस मामले में भारतीय नागरिकों पर करप्शन और रिश्वत के आरोपों की जांच के लिए शिकायत दर्ज कर ली है। हालांकि सूत्रों ने कहा कि वे बिना रेग्युलर केस या बिना पीई के लोगों से पूछताछ नहीं कर सकते।

रक्षा मंत्रालय की एक टीम ने कुछ डॉक्युमेंट्स सीबीआई को सौंप दिए हैं।

कायदे से किसी मंत्रालय से कोई शिकायत मिलने पर सीबीआई के अधिकारी यह फैसला करते हैं कि उसमें करप्शन के सीधे आरोप लगाए गए हैं या किसी सरकारी अधिकारी के खिलाफ सीरियस मिस्कंडक्ट के आरोप आदि हैं, जो एजेंसी की परिधि में आते हैं। शिकायत दर्ज करने के बाद सीबीआई फैसला करती है कि और ग्राउंड वर्क की जरूरत हो तो पीई दर्ज की जाए और उसके बाद केस दर्ज किया जाए या सीधे एफआईआर दर्ज की जाए।

सीबीआई की टीम ने गुरुवार को अधिकारियों से 12 AW-101 हेलिकॉप्टर्स के मामले में किसी भी इंटरनल इंक्वॉयरी से संबंधित फाइलें मांगी हैं।

राष्ट्रपति और प्रधानमंत्री जैसे वीवीआईपीज़ के लिए भारत ने फरवरी 2010 में 3,600 करोड़ रुपए में 3 इंजन वाले 12 AW-101 हेलिकॉप्टर्स की डील की थी।

सोमवार को इटली की एजेंसियों ने फिनमेकनिका की सबसिडियरी कंपनी अगस्तावेस्टलैंड के सीईओ जूसिपी ओरसी को इस डील में भारत में दलाली देने के आरोप में गिरफ्तार किया था।
टाइम्स ऑफ इंडिया | Feb 16, 2013, 01.52PM IST
नीरज चौहान

2 जी घोटाला : टेलिकॉम कंपनियों पर कोर्ट सख्त

मोबाइल ऑपरेटर कंपनियों को लेकर सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने शुक्रवार को सख्ती दिखाई। कोर्ट ने कहा कि जो कंपनियां 2 जी लाइसेंस रद्द होने के बाद नए सिरे से हुए स्पेक्ट्रम की नीलामी में शरीक नहीं हुईं या जिन्होंने नए स्पेक्ट्रम हासिल नहीं किए उन्हें अपना ऑपरेशन बंद करना होगा। कोर्ट ने यह भी साफ किया कि जिन कंपनियों ने 12 नवंबर को हुई नीलामी में स्पेक्ट्रम हासिल कर लिए हैं उन्हें सविर्स शुरू करने को कहा जाएगा। इसके अलावा 2 फरवरी 2012 को लाइसेंस रद्द करने संबंधी आदेश उन कंपनियों पर लागू नहीं होगा जिनके पास 900 मेगाहर्ट्ज बैंड स्पेक्ट्रम है।

बंद हो ऑपरेशन: सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा कि जो कंपनियां नीलामी में कामयाब नहीं रहीं और लाइसेंस रद्द होने के बाद नई नीलामी में शामिल नहीं हुईं, उन्हें ऑपरेशन बंद करने का निदेर्श दिया जाता है। कोर्ट ने यह भी कहा कि 2 फरवरी, 2012 को लाइसेंस रद्द किए जाने के बाद एक विशेष अवधि तक ऑपरेशन जारी रखने की अनुमति दी गई थी, उन्हें नवंबर 2012 में हुई निलामी के दौरान तय रिजर्व प्राइस के हिसाब से रेट देने होंगे। मामले की सुनवाई के दौरान वकील प्रशांत भूषण ने दलील दी थी कि मौजूदा आपरेटरों को ऑपरेट करने की इजाजत नहीं होनी चाहिए क्योंकि कंस्यूमर्स के पास कई अन्य विकल्प मौजूद हैं।

इनके लाइसेंस हुए रद्द: सुप्रीम कोर्ट के आदेश के तहत सिस्तेमा श्याम टेलिसर्विसेज (एमटीएस) के 21, टेलीनॉर के कंट्रोल वाली यूनिनॉर के 16, विडियोकॉन के 15 और टाटा टेली सर्विसेज के 3 सीडीएमए लाइसेंस 18 जनवरी से रद्द हो गए हैं। इन लाइसेंसों के तहत देशभर में कुल 25 करोड़ कंस्यूमर्स आते हैं। टेलिनॉर 6 सर्किलों में यूनिनॉर के कारोबार की नई यूनिट टेलिविंग्स कम्यूनिकेशंस को ट्रांसफर करने की प्रक्रिया में है। हाल में हुए ऑक्शन में उसने स्पेक्ट्रम हासिल किया है।

कोर्ट ने दिया था वक्त: कोर्ट ने शुरुआत में टेलिकॉम डिपार्टमेंट को नए सिरे से ऑक्शन के लिए 4 महीने का वक्त दिया था बाद में इसकी मियाद कई बार बढ़ाई गई थी। मामले की सुनवाई के दौरान केंद सरकार ने सुप्रीम कोर्ट से गुहार लगाई थी कि वह 2 जी लाइसेंस रद्द होने वाली कंपनियों को 18 जनवरी के बाद भी ऑपरेशन की इजाजत दे पर यह शर्त होना चाहिए कि वह आगामी 11 मार्च की स्पेक्ट्रम नीलामी के प्रस्तावित मूल्य के बराबर राशि का भुगतान करें।
नवभारत टाइम्स | Feb 15, 2013, 09.52PM IST
प्रमुख संवाददाता।।नई दिल्ली