The Central Bureau of Investigation has approached the President Secretariat seeking an opinion on whether the agency can record statements of Governors M.K. Narayanan and B.V. Wanchoo as witnesses in connection with the ongoing VVIP chopper deal probe.

Senior CBI officials said the agency had earlier sought a legal opinion from the Law Ministry on the issue. “However, the Law Ministry rejected it on the grounds that they enjoy Constitutional immunity. Accordingly we have written to the President Secretariat seeking opinion, since the Secretariat is in the know of the set procedure,” said a senior official.

West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan was then the National Security Advisor and the Goa Governor, B.V. Wanchoo, then headed the Special Protection Group when the tender specifications for procurement of VVIP choppers were “tweaked,” opening the doors for accused manufacturer AgustaWestland to bid for the contract.

The CBI in March last registered a case against retired Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi along with his three cousins and several others, alleging that he had approved certain changes in the tender specifications.

The CBI earlier alleged that during his tenure, the former IAF chief approved the reduction of the service ceiling of VVIP helicopters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres, a move that was previously opposed consistently by the IAF citing security related issues. It alleged that AgustaWestland, which could not have otherwise qualified, was allowed to bid for the tender as the relaxation in question was made.

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