“Invisible hand” prevented proper investigation into Augusta Westland case

Targeting the previous UPA regime over the controversial AgustaWestland deal, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the ongoing probe will focus on those named in the Italian Court judgement even as he suggested the role of an “invisible hand” in preventing a proper investigation earlier.

He, along with Parliamentary Affairs Venkaiah Naidu, rejected the opposition demand for Supreme Court-monitored probe, protesting which Congress staged a walkout.

Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the controversy surrounding the Rs 3600 crore deal for 12 VVIP helicopters, Parrikar said there was “relentless push” by the UPA to go in for the AgustaWestland choppers.

Narrating amid repeated disruptions the sequence of events related to the deal, he said CBI had registered a case on March 12, 2013 but it did not bother to forward a copy of the FIR to ED for nine months.

Later, ED did not act on the FIR till July 2014, he said.

“It appears an invisible hand was guiding action or inaction of CBI and ED,” the Minister said.

Noting that a probe was already underway, he said, the “inquiry will focus on roles of those named in the judgement of Italian court.. Government will leave no stone unturned in bringing to justice those involved in the scam.”

He said CBI has already done a lot of investigation and is currently on the money trail to track down where the bribe money went. .