Government cancels Rs 3,500-cr chopper deal with AgustaWestland

| Updated on: Jan 01, 2014
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The Government on Wednesday scrapped the controversial Rs 3,500-crore deal to purchase 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland.

The deal was cancelled following allegations of unethical dealings by Italian company Finmeccanica in the sale by its Anglo-Italian subsidiary AgustaWestland to the Ministry of Defence. It is alleged that kickbacks were paid to win the contract.

In a statement, the Government said: “The deal with AgustaWestland International (AWIL) which was signed in February 2010 is being terminated with immediate effect on grounds of pre-contract integrity pact and the agreement by AWIL.”

The decision to finally cancel the contract was taken after receiving a fresh opinion from the Attorney-General. Earlier too, the Attorney-General had given the opinion that the deal should be terminated. AWIL, however, pressed for arbitration and appointed an arbitrator from its side after which the Indian Government sought the AG’s opinion once again. The Central Bureau of Investigation was also asked to look into the case after Italian media reported that Finmeccanica’s Chief Executive Officer was arrested for corruption and embezzlement in relation to bribes allegedly given in India.

> ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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