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Updated: February 14, 2013 01:13 IST

Guilty won’t be spared: Antony

Vinay Kumar
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An Agusta Westland Helicopter on display at India Aviation 2010 in Hyderabad. File photo: K. Ramesh Babu
An Agusta Westland Helicopter on display at India Aviation 2010 in Hyderabad. File photo: K. Ramesh Babu

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Wednesday said nobody would be spared if found guilty at any stage of CBI inquiry into allegations of bribery in the Rs. 3,700- crore VVIP helicopter deal.

“Everything depends on the CBI inquiry; future action will examine all possibilities. No option is closed, we will pursue all options,’’ he said at a press conference. The action included blacklisting the company and even cancellation of the deal, he noted.

The scandal involves Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, whose subsidiary AgustaWestland bagged the deal in February 2010 for supplying a dozen choppers to India.

Meanwhile, the former Indian Air Force Chief, SP Tyagi, has pleaded innocence. He told reporters the deal was signed three years after his retirement. He headed the IAF from 2004 to 2007. “I am innocent. These allegations are totally baseless and I am denying them categorically. The deal was signed in 2010 whereas I retired in 2007 itself.”

Asked if he changed any specifications for the contract to favour Finmeccanica, he said the qualitative requirements for the choppers were frozen in 2003, much before he assumed office, and the IAF did not change any requirements after that.

The Minister said he cannot respond to reports in Italy that the former IAF Chief Tyagi is linked to the controversy. “I have no information on this. Unless I get some information, we cannot take names,’’ he said.

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“ Everything depends on the CBI inquiry....".... blah blah blah.. we have heard such worthless comments, scam after scam, year after year.People have no faith with this government. And many others before this. The entire system is corrupted to the core. The nation must throw out this system that permits such bad governance.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Feb 14, 2013 at 18:11 IST

" Everything depends on CBI inquiry".
Please read this and re-read,if in doubt. You will know what you should
know !

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 20:13 IST

You can not expect justice from the involved politicians, they just give
a honest speech that's it... and we youths just can comment on these
types of issues, because we are the one who making them to do all these
thing.....they are innocents and they trying to recover their money with
the interest,which they spent on us in the time of election...

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 18:35 IST

Is Mr. Antony referring to the same CBI whose prosecutor has been found guilty of colluding with perpetrators in the 2G scams. Please Mr. Antony we do not know what to do now, laugh, cry, agitate, vote, not to vote. CBI is a puppet this is a universal fact. The recent revelation in the 2G Scam and this new ariel (Helicoptor) scam will prove this beyond doubt. If you are really willing to take some action let some head rolls and show some action on the scene otherwise play this script and antics in front of your bathroom mirror to practice and perfect it; because we are tired of it now. Also, beware you and your government - 2014 is very near now.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 17:51 IST

As usual CBI enquiry has been ordered.The powerful culprits will heave
a sigh of relief.How many enquiries are in progress? Will they be
impartial? Oh GOD,release CBI from the control of govt.Results will
follow automatically. Otherwise it will be difficult for the CBI
officials to catch highly placed culprits.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 17:34 IST

Congress is working in full swing to dethrone themselves and bring Modi
into PM position.

from:  Vaibhav
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 17:33 IST

What about YOU Mr.Antony? As the minister involved in approving such transactions, it's
hard to magine that you had no clue about the criminal investigation against Finmeccannica
till now. Didn't the italian investigators not contact you for details regarding the transactions
and they haven't tipped you that such activities are going on? But you thought to start an
investigation only after the news was published in major dailies! Put down your paper first.

from:  Bala
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 17:32 IST

(1) It is disgraceful that only after arrest of CEO of the Italian
firm that our Defence Minister has ordered a CBI enquiry. (2) It has
been proved again and again that it is possible to bribe Indian
government officials and even ministers to sell something to a
government undertaking organization or government department,
including a defence establishment. (3) Power corrupts and absolute
power corrupts absolutely: this is just not a saying but what we
experience in our daily life. (4) Only solution is setting up a
statutory authority to look into all deals wherein there is a proof of
illegal money making by the corrupt officials and, above all, actually
punishing the guilty in reasonable time. (5) An independent Lok Pal is
one such authority but it is clear that all political parties are
making efforts to see that such an authority is never set up.

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 16:54 IST

We are seriously fed up of this hollow assurances. What happened to TATRA scam, what happened to Vadra land deal, what happened to CoalGate, what happened to Zakir hussain memorial trust scam where Khurshid family is involved?

Innumerable scams in the making. Indian people are really fed up.

from:  Vimal
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 16:51 IST

"...nobody will be spared.."

I wonder if that includes politicians and those with the right political connections. Since the start of the UPA term, the country has seen one mega scam after another causing loss of crores and crores of rupees. The current scam would not have been known if the Italian Govt had not acted against the Chairman of the helicopter company. I firmly believe that these mega scams cannot occur without the involvement of politicians at the highest levels. Yet these high level politicians are unlikely to face justice if the past is any guide.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 16:47 IST

This corruption investigation will last till the next corruption comes up next month. People will forget this one and go the next one. They will read about them, discuss them with vigour and then forget about them. Long Live Indian slavery !

from:  Jeevan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 14:24 IST

We are sick and tired of such empty bravado talk. A long list of Congress Ministers have made such hoary declarations, not be acted upon, but only to be forgotten and buried, till the next scam breaks out. All sound and fury, but zero result. Is there any one departement in our Government which is not corrupt ???

from:  V. Vedagiri
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 14:18 IST

The article says that action will be taken to blacklist Italian giant Finmeccanica manufacturer because of their offer for bribe. Are the Indian government/army officials not equally or more corrupt by accepting the offer and providing the required go-ahead. Mr Antony, first clean up our people and system first and then lets talk about others.

from:  Swamy
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 14:16 IST

It is shame for the Def Forces dragged to scam.A decade ago Bofors,coffins, canteens, Transports and now Helicopter.It looks there is a bright chance for youngsters to earn in Defence Services without actually fighting.This is apart from free ration ,shelter,and dress with salary.

Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 14:12 IST

We are tired of these usual comments by the minister. Today these corrupt elements has the audacity to even collude with the prosecutors. Indian people do not buy these hollow promises. The fact remains the political class have failed this country and add to that judiciary delivery system miserably collapsed. No good people are coming to politics, because they feel endangered due to the fact many criminals joined this system and denying space for those whom the country interest is supreme.

from:  mohan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 14:03 IST

The menace of corruption has finally invaded the defense of INDIAN AIR
FORCE. Now who would like to raise their Head to seek assurances and
safety of our nation from our Air force?

from:  Hiranmoy Goswami
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 14:03 IST

CBI (Congress Bureau of Investigation?, like in all its earlier cases
take few decades and finally sweep them under carpet. Tell me one
important case of national importance it has solved in 62 years. In 2-G
which is monitored directly by SC, now we know what conspiracy is going
on scuttle the mega scam. Equally bigger scams like coal and so on no
one knows what is going on. Top to bottom whole lot are corrupt. It is
utterly foolish to expect something from the existing system. All organs
of the state are rotten

from:  Rao C V C
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 13:50 IST

Yet another skeleton tumbling out of Indian Military's cupboard! Govt.
can't afford to hold an impartial inquiry , in a professional manner,
for obvious reasons.

Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 13:39 IST

Given Mr. A. K. Antony's credentials with regards to integrity, one hopes that at least in this case the investigations and its final conclusions are insulated from interference and partiality, and equally importantly, that the ill-gotten monies are fully recovered and used for public good.
It is tiresome and shameful to have incidents of this magnitude surface every season and only to assume a state of institutionalised inertia where the guilty either go scot-free or are never brought to book per the tenets of law.

from:  Sridhar S
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 13:25 IST

It is a pity that we come to know of such murky deals after the foreign
government detects the illegal payoffs. I really appreciate the Italian
Govt. for having acted despite the fact that they stand to lose the
contract. Even now, I am not sure the real culprits of our country will
ever be caught and punished.

Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 12:41 IST

CBI inquiry as usual is to cover govt hand, result is delayed and small
fishes are planted and blamed. So big deals can not take place without
govt direct involvement. There should be independent enquiry under JPC.
We miss Jan Lokpal bill to get corruption free nation. and fast and
reliable enquaries.

from:  BharatLal
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 12:38 IST

Mr Minister, why is it that we came to know about the scam after an Italian arrest ? Why didn't our vigilance agencies catch this scam beforehand ? Looks like our people already knew about it & kept quiet. Then the language must have been 'we will save everyone', now that the scam has come face to face, the language becomes 'we will not spare anyone'.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 12:33 IST

Nobody will be spared, thundered Defense Minister, Anthony. Does that
include yourself, your excellency? Why don't put your resignation where
your mouth is and step down for your manifest failure to control
corruption despite all the tall talk of zero tolerance?

from:  Daniel S Mahanty
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 12:26 IST

The same minister said that "No body will be spared" when Army Chief's
letter to PM leaked and again when BEML_TATRA scam came out. What
happened to them?

Mere words mean nothing without action leading to results.

from:  Sankaran
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 12:14 IST

It is so sad to see corruption still persisting in Defence deals.
First of all why do we need to purchase such high priced helicopters? Ostensibly, just to transport VVIP and we know who those are.
Secondly, why was Italian firm chosen? doesn't this smack of nepotism by high and mighty of Indian politics?

from:  Shrenik Jain
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 11:54 IST

The reported kick backs is hardly surprising in our country where even to get a death
certificate with name of the deceased correctly mentioned, one has to bribe.I wonder, had the Italian authorities not arrested the CEO of the Company for "giving bribes", none would have had any clue in India about the "bribe takers", which might as well extend beyond the Air Chief deep into bureaucracy and political systems. The revelations of this scam support the demand of the Left parties to include the Corporates as well in the ambit of the Lokpal. Obviously, the CBI needs to be out of the government control for any meaningful probe.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 11:41 IST

Mr Minister, you and your Government would be judged by your actions not your talk.

from:  Rajeshwaran
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 11:30 IST

CBI inquiry must be ended as quick as possible it should not be in snail
speed like earlier inquiry.And those who are guilty must be given
stringent punishment so that it can create an example for others. Indian
resources are property of Indian people and no body can misuse it.

from:  Osama Hasan
Posted on: Feb 13, 2013 at 11:29 IST
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