Former air chief marshal S.P. Tyagi, caught amidst allegations of receiving kickbacks to facilitate the VVIP AgustaWestland Chopper deal spoke to Outlook’s Toral Varia Deshpande.
What do you have to say to the allegations levelled against you in the 64-page report prepared by an Italian investigating agency?
Everything is a matter of record in the air HQs and, I can say with some authority that absolutely no changes were suggested by the iaf in general or by me in particular during the time when I was the chief (January 1, 2005, to March 1, 2007). The Italians have alleged that I received kickbacks via my cousins to change the specifications to facilitate AgustaWestland. But please understand, the air HQ has no authority to change the requirements. Such changes can be made only by the ministry of defence. In fact, the Raksha Mantri is the final authority.
So what’s your version of the truth?
The tenders were opened after my retirement. The trials were conducted after my retirement. The deal was signed after my retirement. How did I come into the picture? The only thing that happened in my tenure was that the Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued, but that was on the basis of specifications decided back in 2003—on the instructions of the then NSA Brajesh Mishra and in consultation with the spg. Why then would someone want to pay a huge amount to me?
Are you suggesting that you are being singled out?
The trials were conducted during former air chief Fali Major’s tenure. The contract was finally signed when Pradeep Naik was the air chief. So how come only I am being cornered?
"The trials were conducted during Fali Major’s stint. The contract was inked in Pradeep Naik’s. Why am only I being singled out?" But you cannot deny the fact that you are related to Julie, Docsa and Sandeep Tyagi.
In 1999, due to some internal family issue, relations between the two families were completely severed. There was absolutely no contact. By the end of 2006, my uncle’s health had deteriorated drastically. I decided to renew ties. The first tentative contacts with my cousin’s family were re-established only by the end of 2006 and by then the RFP had been issued. Our relations started improving only after my uncle’s death in February ’07, just a month before my retirement.
But have you spoken to your cousins regarding this?
Of course! I spoke to them when their names started appearing in the news. I asked, “Bhai, tumhara naam kyun aa raha hai? Have you guys done anything that’ll put me in a spot or drag me into a controversy?” They said, “It’s all nonsense.” I’ve to go by what they say.
Are you aware what sort of businesses your cousins are into? Or if they deal with Italians?
They know a few Italians and have business contracts for the last 20 years or so. But they claim to have absolutely no links with the deal. My cousins are running businesses in the power sector. They are into getting European firms to invest in India’s power secto.
But you do know a Carlo Gerosa, said to be one of the middlemen?
Yes. I had met Carlo about 15-20 years ago. I know him through my cousins. But because I knew him only through my cousins—and since we were not even on talking terms for nearly seven years, I was out of touch with Carlo too. The next time I met him was only after my retirement and that meeting too was through my cousins.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Ex- Minister of Congress Sarkar greased his Pockets in Coalgate and Heligate !!!
First Heist in Coal Gate ::
'''Ex-coal minister Bagrodia’s brother got hefty mining contract
TM was formed in December 2005 (more than 27 months before Mr Santosh Bagrodia was appointed as minister of state for coal in April 2008) to bid for and execute specific coal mining projects in India as a mine developer & operator," Thiess Minecs said in a statement. And on March 31, 2006, NTPC invited bids for the 15mt per annum Pakri-Bawardih (PB) coal mining project in Jharkhand.
The estimated contract price is "Rs 230,030 million equivalent to $5111.78 million (considering 1$= Rs 45)" and the contract was for 27 years, NTPC told TOI in a written statement. NTPC said Thiess Minecs is a joint venture company where "90% of the shares are held by Thiess (Mauritius) Pty Ltd which is a 100% subsidiary of Thiess Pty Australia and 10% of the shares are held by Minecs Centre Pvt Ltd, a 100 % subsidiary of Cuprum Bagrodia Ltd." Cuprum Bagrodia is owned by the Bagrodia family. The former minister's brother Vinod and Vinod's son Songit are directors of the company.''
Second TIME Scam by Congressi Minister in Manmohan Singh Cabinet ::
"" VVIP helicopter deal: IDS Infotech received kickbacks money from 2007 till 2010
Three Bagrodia family members are directors of IDS Infotech. While Satish, younger brother of the former Union minister, and his son Manish have been directors since 1989, another son Ashish became a director in 2005.
Italian investigators have alleged that IDS Infotech was raising fake bills against alleged software work done for AgustaWestland to route kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal into India.
According to the 64-page chargesheet filed by Italian prosecutors in Naples last week, the payments made to IDS Infotech were part of a three-year contract for staggered "bribe tranches" signed in January 2007 at Cascina Costa, where AgustaWestland is headquartered. The company received 6,40,612 euros (Rs 4.9 crore approx) in 2007 alone.
The chargesheet, a copy of which is with TOI, says that two contracts were signed by AgustaWestland with two firms — IDS Infotech of India and IDS Tunisia — in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
"We're calling it a contract but in reality, a letter of intent was signed by Bruno Spagnolini (then AgustaWestland's CEO) to send kickbacks in the form of fake software exports from India," the probe report said while terming the IT services of the Mohali firm as bogus.
To avoid tax scrutiny, the money was sent to IDS Infotech in small installments between 2007 and 2010, the report said. In 2008, IDS Infotech got 977,263 euros (Rs 7 crore approx). The firm received 5,07,988 euros (Rs 3.9 crore approx) in 2009 and 2,22,764 euros (Rs 1.6 crore) in 2010.
The report further said that when the bribe amount increased, IDS Infotech created a subsidiary, Aeromatrix, in Chandigarh in 2009. Aeromatrix still has the two Italian middlemen — Guido Ralph Hasckhe and Carlo Gerosa — as directors.
A senior Aeromatrix official said on Sunday that investments and bills were shown against IDS Tunisia and IDS Mauritius. IDS Infotech has investments in IDS Tunisia while Aeromatrix's holding company is IDS Mauritius.
The helicopter firm allegedly generated fraudulent invoices facilitated by IDS Infotech to send bribes worth 51 million euros. According to the probe report, the kickbacks were to be in the form of 60% for the Tyagi family and 40% for other Indian --'''
Also please note though two dozens plus Arycles on Afzal Guru and against Modi are appearing in OutLook only one Article on Coppter Gate has been pronted by Mehta's Weekly .
SIR WHY SO ??
Out Look has now become Mili-OutLook !!!
Also please note though two dozens plus Articles on Afzal Guru and against Modi appeared these days in OutLook but only one Article on Coppter Gate has been printed by Mehta's Weekly .
Sir seems you want to divert attention of the people to Modi and Afzal Guuru ?/ Can you hide Coppter Gate ??
Why sir ? Why sir ?
Mr Mehta you are a fearless Editor then why this Makhan-giri ???
I wonder, if there could be smoke unless there was a spark. Tyagi,the former AIF chief `s replies , nowhere, deny categorically, the allegations of having received by him kickbacks in the deal. Earlier, he had not accepted even to have met the Italian dealer`s representative at his brother`s home which he accepted lateron. It`s a matter of thorough prob by CBI and to check what report has been submitted in the Italian Court,particularly in the light of allegations levelled against IAF`s officers.
However,it would be agreeable to all that no misleading reports can be submitted to the Court of Law. ,
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