With controversy surrounding the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters, Congress on Wednesday said nobody can be hanged without proper investigation and welcomed Defence Minister A.K.Antony’s move to hand over the probe to CBI.
“Our Defence Minister has handed it (probe) over to CBI. Had it been NDA government, what would they have done? Can anyone be hanged without investigation?,” Congress leader Digvijay Singh said.
He said the case of purchase of AugustaWestland helicopters should be seen in different light.
“Purchase of Westland helicopters was proposed by the NDA regime. Secondly it is the best helicopter available in this sector. Thirdly, it was bought at a price extremely competitive in its sector,” he said.
The contract for the helicopters had been signed in February 2010. India had inked the deal to acquire the 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for IAF’s elite Communication Squadron, which ferries around the President, PM and other VVIPs.
On the allegation of kickbacks paid in the copter deal, Mr. Singh said, “Italian government has found certain instances where commission of bribe has been paid for which they have taken action. The moment Government of India came to know, it has set up a CBI investigation. Where is the question of taking any more action.”
There are allegations of kickbacks in the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal.
Mr.Singh said, “I will request the BJP to suggest what more can be done in this. No person can be hanged or punished without proper investigation and CBI will investigate the case on its own.”