Chopper deal: CBI examines former Deputy Chief of IAF

New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI) CBI today examined former Deputy Chief of
Indian Air Force JS Gujral in connection with alleged irregularities
in the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal with AgustaWestland.
Air Marshal (Retd) Gujral arrived at the CBI Headquarters here in
the morning and appeared before the investigation team probing the case.
He was one of the many senior officials who were part of the meeting
in 2005 when a decision to alter the required specifications was taken.
The agency has called former Air Chief SP Tyagi on Monday.
Both have been questioned at length in 2013 but the fresh round
of questioning was necessitated after the April 7 order of an Italian court.
CBI has so far maintained that Gujral was questioned as a witness
but remain tight lipped if he will still retain the same status.
The agency, so far, has not levelled any allegation against him.
The agency had registered a case against former IAF Chief Tyagi
along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen in the case.
Tyagi has denied the allegations.
The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he had reduced
flying ceiling of the helicopter from altitude ceiling requirement
from 6,000 m to 4,500 m (15,000ft) so that AgustaWestland was included
in the bids.
However, this decision was taken allegedly in consultation with
the officials of SPG and the Prime Minister’s Office including then
NSA M K Narayanan.
CBI has alleged reduction of the service ceiling–maximum height
at which a helicopter can perform normally–allowed the UK-based
firm to get into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters were not
even qualified for submission of bids.