Committee to supervise VVIP copter probe

By SP's Special Correspondent

March 04, 2013: A 30-member committee comprising members of the two houses of Indian Parliament will look into the AgustaWestland AW101 VVIP helicopter deal, even as the CBI begins a full-fledged investigation into the acquisition following allegations of wrongdoing.

In response to a show cause notice sent by DG (Acquisition) S.B. Agnihotri earlier in February, AgustaWestland UK MD Raymond Edwards formally replied to the MoD denying any wrongdoing on the company's part. In a formal statement a day before the letter was submitted to the MoD, parent company Finmeccanica said, "Following recent reports concerning the alleged involvement of AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica Group company, in irregularities relating to a contract for the supply of helicopters to the Indian Government, Finmeccanica highlights that it has acted correctly throughout the 40 years it has operated in India, one of the most strategically important markets for the entire Group. In addition, Finmeccanica underlines that its companies have operated for many years and continue to operate in India, with managerial and operational autonomy, complying fully with Indian Law and the ethics principles of the Group. Finmeccanica is confident that AgustaWestland will demonstrate that it has fully complied with Indian law and the above mentioned ethics principles. Finmeccanica is ready to cooperate with the Indian authorities in order to clarify the matter and will collaborate in accordance with international procedures applicable to an investigation of this kind."