‘Prove firm was blacklisted’

April 28, 2016 01:23 am | Updated November 26, 2021 10:20 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The government on Wednesday challenged the Congress to show the order issued by the UPA banning AgustaWestland to prove its claims.

“When did they blacklist? Ask them first. Ask them what date the order was issued? Show me the copy of the order,” said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the sidelines of an Air Force event on skill development for retired personnel.

Responding to questions on the Italian court order in the case, Mr. Parrikar said the government was studying the order and would respond in 7-8 days. “We have a copy of the Italian court order and we are in the process of translating it in a legal manner,” he said.

Mr. Parrikar also took a swipe at Congress president Sonia Gandhi saying that the translation from Italian “may not be a difficult task for the opposition” but was not easy “at least for the ruling side.”

“We have a copy of the Italian Court order and we are in the process of translating it a legal manner,” he said.

Mr. Parrikar also took a swipe at Congress president Sonia Gandhi saying that the translation from Italian “may not be a difficult task for the Opposition” but was not easy “at least for the ruling side.”

Meanwhile former Defence Minister A.K. Antony responded to these allegations saying that the Narendra Modi government was “sleeping over” the probe into the chopper scam.

‘Cover-up conspiracy’

“The Modi government is indulging in this cover-up conspiracy to hide its sinister role in helping and promoting a banned company AgustaWestland and its parent company, Finmeccanica,” Mr. Antony told a press conference later alleging that the UPA had begun the process of blacklisting.

However in response to a question in Parliament on February 5, 2014 – months before the change of government – Mr. Antony as Defence Minister said in a written reply: “No decision has been taken till date to debar the said company.”

A similar response was given by Mr. Antony in Parliament on an earlier instance.

The deal for 12 VVIP helicopters worth about Rs. 3,600 crore signed with AgustaWestland on February 8, 2010 was terminated by the government with effect from January 1, 2014 for breach of provisions of contract.

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