India

CBI court grants bail to 4 ex-IAF officers in AgustaWestland case

New Delhi, July 31 (KMS): A special court on Saturday granted bail to four former Indian Air Force (IAF) officers in the AgustaWestland chopper deal corruption case after they appeared before it following summons issued on the last date of hearing.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge, Arvind Kumar, granted bail to retired Air Force AVM JS Panesar, retired air commodore N Santosh, retired air commodore SA Kunte and retired wing commander Thomas Mathew. The court granted bail to them on each furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety in the same amount.

The matter has been listed for August 27 for further hearing.

The AgustaWestland corruption case is being probed by the CBI and ED, and was registered following allegations that bribes were paid during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 helicopters built by the Italian defence manufacturing company Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore. In 2014, the deal was scrapped by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

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