CBI quizzes West Bengal governor in VVIP chopper deal

New Delhi : The CBI Friday questioned West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan as a “witness” in connection with its ongoing probe into the procurement of AgustaWestland VVIP choppers for 556.262 million euros (Rs.3,726.96 crore).

Narayanan, 80, was quizzed in the Kolkata at the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Support TwoCircles

He was asked to appear before the agency to record his statement in connection with the deal as he was part of the group which had gone into the tendering procedures before the helicopters were purchased, CBI sources said.

The CBI had registered a case against former the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, along with 13 others, including his cousins and European middlemen, in the case. The allegation against the former air force chief was that he had reduced the altitude at which the VVIP helicopters could operate so that Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland was included in the bidding process.

The defence ministry had concluded a contract with AgustaWestland in February 2010 for supply of 12 AW-101 helicopters for the IAF’s elite Communication Squadron, which ferries the president the prime minister and other VVIPs.

Three helicopters were received between November 2012 and February 2013.