IAF ex-chief’s CBI custody extended to December 17

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) A court here on Wednesday extended for three more days, till December 17, the CBI custody of former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief S.P. Tyagi, arrested in the AgustaWestland chopper deal case.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed the probe agency to quiz Tyagi, his cousin Sanjiv Tyagi and Gautam Khaitan, a Delhi-based lawyer, till December 17.

Earlier in the day, the CBI had sought a seven-day extension in Tyagi’s custody, who was arrested last Friday with the other two accused and on Saturday remanded in the agency’s custody till December 14.

The former Indian Air Force chief — the first chief of any wing of the armed forces to be arrested in the country — and the others were allegedly involved in irregularities in the procurement of 12 AW-101 VVIP helicopters from Britain-based AgustaWestland.

The CBI has sought extension of custody of Tyagi and others for another seven days, saying that custodial interrogation is necessary in the interest of justice as it has yet to unearth the entire conspiracy.

The probe agency said the accused is required to be confronted with incriminating evidence that has emerged during investigation.

In February 2005, senior officials of the Italy-based Finmeccanica and Britain-based AgustaWestland, which is a subsidiary of the former, met Tyagi and discussed issue related to the service ceiling of the VVIP helicopters, CBI said.

Countering the CBI’s submission, Tyagi’s defence counsel opposed the plea and said the meeting was not illegal as they met at an event in February 2005.

–IANS

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