Saturday 27 August 2016
facebook.com/Outlookindia twitter.com/outlookindia digimag.outlookindia.com instagram.com/outlookindia youtube.com/user/OutlookMagazine

‘No Changes To The Specifications Were Made During My Tenure’

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?

Advertisement

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.

READ MORE IN:
SECTION: National
SUBSECTION: Interviews
OUTLOOK: 25 February, 2013
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
  • Daily Mail
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
OUTLOOK ON TWITTER
POLLS

In 1999, India and France entered into a $3.5 billion deal for the supply of these submarines. The first of the 6 subs is out on sea trials for the last three months and is to be commissioned later this year. At this stage, a newspaper in Australia has revealed secret data on the submarines, plausibly stolen from India. Indian Defence authorities have ruled out any pilferage of data from India.

POLL STARTED ON: Aug 26, 2016
Quiz
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 31st Olympic Games from August 5 to 21. This is the first Olympics being held in South America and is going on even as a majority Brazilians are unhappy with their rulers. Here’s a quiz on some random Olympic facts and related trivia.
QUIZ STARTED ON: Aug 11, 2016
Advertisement