New Delhi [India] July 30 (ANI): A Special Court on Saturday granted bail to 4 former Indian Air Force (IAF) officers in the Agusta Westland Chopper Deal corruption case. They appeared on the summons issued by the court on the last date of the hearing.
Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Arvind Kumar granted bail to retired Air Force AVM JS Panesar, retired Air Commodore N Santosh, retired Air Commodore SA Kunte and retired Wing Commander Thomas Mathew. The court granted bail to each of them on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety in the same amount.
While granting bail the Court has imposed some conditions on the accused persons. They were not arrested by the CBI and were summoned by the court after the cognizance of the charge was taken.
Their bail was not opposed by the special prosecutor for the CBI. The matter now has been listed for 27 August for further hearing.
On the last date of the hearing, the court had granted bail to Former Defence Secretary and former CAG, Shashi Kant Sharma in this case. Sharma was admitted to bail on furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs.2 Lac (Rupees two lac) with one surety in the like amount.
Advocates R.K.Handoo and Aditya Chaudhary appeared for Shashi Kant Sharma had submitted that he is a retired IAS Officer and served as Defence Secretary to the Government of India till May 2013 and thereafter from 2013 to September 2017 as Controller & Auditor General of India, a constitutional post of the Government of India and is presently leading a retired life.
Lawyers had 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 charge sheet.
It was also submitted that the applicant has cooperated with the investigation and has appeared before CBI. It was submitted that the applicant is a pensioner and an income tax payee and 69 years of age and is suffering from old age-related ailments. It was submitted that the applicant suffered a heart attack and stenting has been done and is still under treatment by a heart specialist.
Former Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma had appeared before the Court following the court summons were issued against him. 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 prosecution sanctions against Shashi Kant Sharma. Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation had sought sanction from the government to prosecute former defence secretary and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma, in a case of alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.
Earlier CBI had filed the 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 NDA Government. (ANI)