India to cancel a scandal-tainted helicopter deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland
New Delhi – India has decided to cancel a scandal-tainted helicopter deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland, a news agency said on Tuesday.
Defence Ministry officials are reportedly scheduled to hold a meeting with the company executives on Wednesday.
The decision could re-open the contract to rivals, including United Technologies Corp’s Sikorsky Aircraft, EADS’ Eurocopter and Lockheed Martin.
On October 30, Defence Minister AK Antony maintained that AgustaWestland “violated the contract” for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force and the government has to move as per the law.
On October 21, the Defence Ministry had issued a final showcause notice to AgustaWestland, seeking to cancel the deal to buy 12 helicopters and given the company 21 days to reply.
The company was asked to explain why action should not be taken against it for violating the terms of the pre-contract integrity pact.
In February, the government froze payments on the USD 771.32-million contract following allegations that Rs 360 crore was paid in bribes.
AgustaWestland has denied the allegations.