New Delhi [India], April 28 (ANI): A Special Court on Thursday granted bail to ex-Defence Secretary and former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Shashi Kant Sharma in the alleged AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam case.
Sharma is admitted to bail on furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 2 lakh with one surety in the like amount, said the court.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar, while granting the bail to Shashi Kant Sharma, noted the submission of the CBI counsel who said that the Central Bureau of Investigation has no objection if the accused is granted bail.
Advocates RK Handoo and Aditya Chaudhary, appearing for Shashi Kant Sharma, submitted that he is a retired IAS Officer and served as the Defence Secretary to the Government of India till May 2013, and thereafter from 2013 to September 2017, as the Controller and Auditor General of India, a constitutional post of the Government of India and is presently leading a retired life.
The lawyers further submitted that the applicant is innocent and has been falsely implicated in the present case and has nothing to do with the offences alleged in the chargesheet.
“The applicant has cooperated with the investigation and has appeared before CBI. The applicant is a pensioner and an income tax payee and is 69 years of age and is suffering from old age-related ailments. The applicant suffered a heart attack and stenting has been done and is still under treatment of heart specialist,” they submitted.
Shashikant Sharma on Thursday appeared before the Court following the court summons issued to him.
On the last date of the hearing, the court took cognizance of the chargesheet and directed all the accused to appear before it on April 28, 2022.
CBI earlier informed the court that it has got a prosecution sanction against Shashi Kant Sharma.
The agency had also sought sanction from the government to prosecute Sharma, in a case of alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.
CBI had filed a chargesheet in September 2020 against 15 accused including persons, and private companies in a case related to the award of a contract to a UK-based company for the supply of 12 VVIP helicopters.
The Agusta Westland case is a corruption case which is being probed by CBI and ED. It has been alleged that bribes were paid during UPA Regime to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing Company Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore.
Later in 2014, the said deal was scrapped by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. (ANI)