New Delhi: CBI is studying the CAG report on the AgustaWestland helicopter deal tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday and might file new cases if it detects any aspect of criminality in it.
Agency sources said although the mandate of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and CBI are completely different the probe agency is looking into the report to assess if any new information has been added which would require a probe by it. In its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, the CAG questioned the decision of the then IAF chief to hold the trials of the two contenders for the deal abroad.
The CAG also noted that the benchmark cost of Rs 4,871.5 crore for the 12 VVIP choppers was "unreasonably high" as compared to the Rs 3,966 crore quoted by AgustaWestland. "Several instances have been observed where the Defence Ministry deviated from the 2006 Defence Procurement Procedure and the tender for the deal issued in September 2006," the report stated.
As per the DPP, a reasonable price is benchmarked by the Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) while proceeding with a deal. But the benchmark price of Rs 4,871 crore arrived at by CNC was "unreasonably high as it had provided no realistic basis for comparison with the offered cost of Rs 3,966 crore (by AgustaWestland) for price negotiations," the report said.
The agency is trying to complete its probe in the helicopter bribery scam in which the then Indian Air Force Chief S P Tyagi is one of the 13 accused to finalise the charge sheet.
CBI has received transcripts of telephone conversations intercepted by them in the VVIP helicopter scam, a move which may help the agency in expediting its probe in the case. The transcripts are expected to help CBI carry forward its probe in the Rs 362 crore bribery scandal, they said.