New Delhi: The air force has begun court martial proceedings against a Wing Commander who was allegedly caught demanding a bribe from officials of French defence firm at the Aero India show in Bangalore last year.
The Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident had recommended Wg Cdr AK Thakur to face a court martial and the proceedings started against him in Bangalore recently, sources said in New Delhi.
They said the CoI had found Thakur prima facie involved in demanding bribe from French company Dassault Aviation for allotting a ‘more advantageous position’ for its Rafale aircraft in the ‘static’ aircraft display section at the biennial airshow.
One of the officials of Dassault Aviation, who had filed the complaint against the officer, is also there to appear as a witness in the General Court Martial (GCM) headed by a Group Captain-rank officer, the sources said.
Court martial is the actual trial to prove if a person is guilty or not of the charges levelled against him in the CoI. However, verdict of the court martial is also not final, as it is subject to approval from higher authorities.
Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, which has now won the race for IAF’s multi-billion dollar combat aircraft deal, was one of the six contenders in the hotly-contested tender when the alleged incident happened in February 2011.