Right in the wake of the departure of former Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and appointment of Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the Ministry of Defense has announced the termination of the scandalous VVIP helicopter deal for 12 Augusta Westland AW101 helicopters.
The 560 million euro deal was put on hold last February after allegations that several top politicians and military personnel had received bribes to secure the deal for British-Italian company. Three of the twelve helicopters were delivered to the Indian airforce and are currently believed to be parked in a hangar at Palam airforce station.
The Indian defence ministry published the following statement through the Press Information Bureau
The Government of India has terminated with immediate effect the Agreement that was signed with M/s. AgustaWestLand International Ltd. (AWIL) on 08 February, 2010 for the supply of 12 VVIP/VIP helicopters on grounds of breach of the Pre-contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) and the Agreement by AWIL.
Based on the opinion received earlier from the Attorney General of India, it has been the view of the Government that integrity-related issues are not subject to arbitration. However, AWIL has since pressed for arbitration and appointed an arbitrator from its side. In view of this, MoD sought afresh the opinion of the Attorney General. With a view to safeguard the interests of the Government, MoD has nominated Hon’ble Mr Justice BP Jeevan Reddy as its arbitrator.