CBI on Friday quizzed the industrialist-brother of former union minister Santosh Bagrodia’s Satish Bagrodia who is the Chairman of IDS Infotech, one of the suspect companies in the alleged bribery scandal in Rs 3600-crore VVIP Chopper deal.
CBI sources said IDS Infotech, a software company, has been named in its preliminary enquiry as one of the companies which was allegedly used to route the bribe money from Tunisia and Mauritius under the garb of engineering and other contracts.
The agency has named IDS Infotech in its preliminary enquiry but Mr. Satish Bagrodia is not named, the sources said.
They said Mr. Satish Bagrodia was questioned about alleged channelling of the bribe money through his company by Italian middlemen.
The sources claimed the industrialist refuted the allegations and said he did not interefere in the day-to-day working of the company which is handled by other senior executives and board members.
The name of IDS Infotech had cropped up in the report submitted by Italian Prosecutor which alleged the share of the bribe money to be distributed in India was routed through it under the cover of fake vouchers for software-related work.
The company had refuted all the allegations.
The report alleged IDS Infotech generated fake bills for software work for helicopter firm AgustaWestland to pump in the alleged bribe money from Tunisia and Mauritius.
The helicopter deal with AgustaWestland came under the scanner after the head of its parent Italian aerospace company Finmeccanica, that is suspected of paying bribes of about Rs 362 crore in India to get orders for the helicopters, was arrested, prompting the government to order a CBI probe.
The CEO of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini were arrested by Italian investigators in connection with the case.
They allegedly paid the middlemen through a consultancy contract between AgustaWestland and Gordian Services Sarl an amount of €400,000 (about Rs 2.8 crore), of which €100,000 (Rs 72 lakh) were paid in cash to the cousins of the former Air Chief S P Tyagi -- Julie, Docsa and Sandeep, the report by Italian prosecutor alleged.
CBI has named the former IAF Chief, his three cousins, Gautam Khaitan, Praveen Bakshi, European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschkhe, companies -- Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, IDS Infotech, Aeromatrix.
CEO of Finmeccanica Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini have also been named in the enquiry.
The investigation report by the Italian prosecutor had claimed Hashchke and Gerosa, through the Tyagi brothers and their cousin S P Tyagi, managed first to change the tender details bringing the ‘operational ceiling’ from 18,000 to 15,000 feet of altitude, thus allowing AgustaWestland (which otherwise could not have even submitted an offer) to take part in the process.
The report also claimed the duo managed to introduce a comparative flight trial with non-functional engine, swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland, the only one providing three engine helicopters.