Chargesheet in AgustaWestland deal this year, SC told
New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that the chargesheet in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal will be filed this year and the matter is being investigated by an SIT.
Stating that the petition has become infructuous in view of the steps taken by the government, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan that an FIR was registered in 2013 and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed this year.
The court also expunged the names of four of the five people mentioned in the PIL as the Solicitor General told the bench that they were occupying constitutional positions.
Urging the court to dispose of the PIL by advocate M.L. Sharma, the Solicitor General said nothing was left in it to be addressed and the same has become infructuous.
Sharma told the court that the names of five people who were named in the judgement of the Italian court were not in the FIR. Sharma had sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the allegations of bribery.
Disposing of the PIL, the bench said after the filing of the chargesheet, if petitioner advocate felt that the names of some people should have been included but have not been included then he can approach the court with material supporting his contention.
The petitioner had moved the apex court seeking direction for the registration of an FIR against all the people named in an Italian court judgement in the AgustaWestland chopper deal.
The court had issued notice to the Centre on May 9.
The Italian court’s ruling, while convicting former senior executives of AgustaWestland for allegedly paying bribes in the deal, mentioned several names purportedly referring to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Italian court while convicting the four former officials, including former AgustaWestland CEO, said that middleman Christian Michel had allegedly asked the chopper company to approach Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Sonia’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and Oscar Fernandes.