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AgustaWestland replies to the govt's showcause notice, denies wrongdoing in the chopper deal


Arunoday Mukharji,CNN-IBN
Feb 23, 2013 at 09:23am IST

New Delhi: AgustaWestland on Friday replied to a showcasue notice issued by the Indian government on the cancellation of the Rs 3600 crore chopper deal. In its reply the company denied any involvement in any kind of malpractice related to the deal. It says it had fully complied with the rules that regulated the multi-crore helicopter deal.

On February 15, the Ministry of Defence had initiated the process of scrapping the deal with AgustaWestland for 12 VVIP helicopters, issuing a notice to the company asking why the deal should not be cancelled.

The government had asked the company to reply to the notice within seven days, and had asked it to explain the bribery charges in the case. "The Defence Ministry issued a formal show cause notice to AgustaWestland seeking cancellation of the contract and taking other actions as per terms of the contract," Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar had said.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team was expected to return from Italy with not much success as the Italian officials refused to share their probe report in the tainted chopper deal.

The top management of Finmeccanica, however, full cooperation in the investigation. The team had gone to Italy a week ago to request for assistance in probing the alleged role of Indians in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal. The Italian court of Busto Arsizio is hearing the case in which Italian investigators have arrested Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi and AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini for allegedly paying kickbacks to secure the Rs 3,600 crore deal for supplying 12 AW-101 choppers to India.

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