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Ex-Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi framed in AgustaWestland choppergate: Here's why I think so
When ex-Air Chief Marshal, SP Tyagi was arrested by the CBI for questioning in connection with Rs 400 corer plus scam in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, the three engine helicopters meant to fly Indian political leaders and bureaucrats being purchased from Finmeccanica, Italy; one thought that more arrests of important politicos and bureaucrats in this Rs 3600 corer deal will follow.

Since nothing of the sorts has happened it is evident that the CBI is hell bent on framing SP Tyagi and close the case. However, the CBI should be rest assured that they are riding a tiger by the tail and if they follow this policia method they will themselves land up in thick soup.

The CBI has been questioning Tyagi for last four years on two issues in which he has been fully cooperating.

1. Reasons for change in the initial technical specifications set by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the acquisition of said helicopters. It needs to be remembered that initially IAF had set the flying height ceiling as 6000 meters which during Tyagis time was brought down to 4500 meters thus bringing AgustaWestland in competition.

2. Sources of funding of properties of Tyagi and the liquid assets. When Tyagi was cooperating for all of four years why arrest him? That also on the pretext that he will interfere with the evidence? This is pure bullshit.

These helicopters were to be bought for VVIPs, a total of 12 of them and not for IAF. It is common knowledge; all defence deals are treasure chest for the political party in power. They invariably siphon off a cut from the total value of the contract as their commission or one can say good will money. 

But politicians cannot do it on their own; this cut has to look legitimate that is where the bureaucrats come in. They make necessary papers with their own cuts. This is the reason why no government in power wants to implement Chief of Defence Staff system lying sanctioned for last 13 years or integrate Service headquarters with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD remains exclusive domain of politicians and bureaucrats, basically to siphon off money. Not even a pin can be purchased by Service headquarters without the sanction of MoD. So how come Tyagi is being made a fall guy when the then NSA, then PMO and then Defence Secretary are not even brought in the loop? And what about then Defence Minster AK Antony who had accepted in Parliament that some money has exchanged hands in this deal?

Tyagi may have taken bribe or may not, that is for the CBI to prove but why was he arrested? What specific purpose was served when he was already cooperating for the last four years? Why the CBI has not questioned the then NSA, or defence secretary or the PMO when even a fifth class student will tell the CBI that their permission is necessary for the purchase and Tyagi's lawyer has told the court that they all have been party to decision making.

Besides, the said helicopters were not bought for the IAF, so the said organisation and Tyagi was only on advisory capacity. Besides the deal went through after Tyagi had retired. The Modi government must also answer people of India as to why till date autonomous body, the Lokpal, who is supposed to investigate all such cases and the said bill having passed three years back, is still not in place?

Why the CBI continues as it is. All the evidence in this case tends to suggest that apparently powers that be want to save the scalps of political leaders and bureaucrats and make SP Tyagi and Armed Forces fall guy. This will have a great demoralising effect on armed forces for which politicos should be beware.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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