Ex-IAF Chief S P Tyagi granted bail in VVIP chopper scam case

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Dec 2016 09:16:32


NEW DELHI,

Dec 26,

(PTI),

Ex-IAF chief S P Tyagi, arrested on December 9 in AgustaWestland chopper scam case, was on Monday granted bail by a special court here.
Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Tyagi on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and one surety of like amount.


The court, however, imposed certain conditions on the accused and asked him not to try to influence the witnesses and hamper the probe.
The bail applications of other two accused - Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan - are pending before the court which said it will decide both the pleas on January 4.


During the hearing of the bail plea, S P Tyagi’s advocate Maneka Guruswamy had said that her client “could not be deprived of freedom if the investigation is taking time to complete”. She had claimed before the court that in the last four years since the FIR was registered, the CBI has never been able to confront Tyagi with
any incriminating evidence till date.


Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, had opposed the bail pleas
of the accused, saying if set free, they might influence witnesses and hamper the “multi-layered probe by various agencies in more than one jurisdictions involving several countries”.


“We have evidence where the meetings unofficially took place for the purpose of crime. At this stage, please do not entertain their bail pleas. Let the probe be completed,” he said, seeking dismissal of the bail pleas of all the three accused and adding that the matter has “tarnished country’s name”.


On the court’s query whether the CBI had any material regarding S P Tyagi receiving money, the agency told the court that the former IAF chief had purchased several properties for which the sources of income were not disclosed by him and alleged that he had abused his official position.


Advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey, counsel for Khaitan, had also countered CBI’s argument, claiming that the agency was trying to sensationalise the matter and there was no allegation that his client had not joined the probe or tried to influence it.
Sanjeev Tyagi’s counsel Manav Gupta also opposed CBI’s contention saying there was no reason to claim that if granted the relief, his client would hamper the probe.


The accused sought bail on the grounds that the evidence was documentary in nature and had already been seized by CBI and they have cooperated with the probe agency.
The court had on December 17 sent all the three accused to judicial custody till December 30. 71-year old Tyagi, who had retired in 2007, his cousin Sanjeev and Khaitan were arrested on December 9 by the agency in connection with the case. The case relates to procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based firm during the UPA-2 regime.


The accused have alleged that the “CBI was trying to extract the confession using force”. The defence counsel had also claimed that there was no apprehension of them fleeing from justice or tampering with evidence.
The CBI had said it was a “very serious” and “a very high-profile” case requiring interrogation to unearth larger conspiracy as the “interest of the nation was compromised”.


It had submitted that “one part of the crime was committed in India while various other angles are in foreign land.” Tyagi’s counsel had earlier claimed that the decision to procure VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland was a “collective” one and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was also a part of it.
Tyagi should not be treated like a common criminal: Raha: DESCRIBING former IAF chief S P Tyagi as a “sound professional”, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Monday said he should not have been treated like a “common criminal”.


Tyagi, arrested on December 9 in AgustaWestland chopper scam case, was today granted bail by a special court here.
Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Tyagi on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and one surety of like amount.


“You know, it is sub-judice so it won’t be right for me to say anything. But, it is very unfortunate, I think for sure, that a person of his stature has been indicted by the CBI and other investigating agencies. He has been put under custody,” Raha told NDTV’s “Walk the Talk” programme. He said the arrest “obviously” hurts the morale of the people of the armed forces.


“I can’t say it doesn’t dent our image or reputation. It definitely does and I am sure we will go by the law of the land. And the judicial process will be completed on the (basis of) evidence produced. I will be very happy if he can acquit himself because for the reason that he is the former chief,” he said.


Talking about his personal rapport with Tyagi, Raha said he has worked under him.
“I have worked with him as well. So I knew him quite well. Professionally, he is very sound and it is very unfortunate that this kind of accusations are there. It does dent our reputation. We are just hoping that the thing gets settled quickly this way or the other. Whatever is the decision of the court or the judicial process, we will go by that. We will accept it,” he said.


Asked if he agreed that he should not have been kept with common criminals, Raha replied saying he agrees. “I don’t know the exact evidences that the investigating agencies have but if they could treat him a little more respectfully I would be be very happy,” he said.