SC reserves order on Agusta helicopter purchase

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New Delhi, Feb 1: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order seeking a probe into alleged irregularities in the purchase of AgustaWestland helicopter for VIPs in 2006-07 and the foreign bank accounts purportedly linked to the son of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.

A division bench of Justice A.K. Goel and Justice U.U. Lalit reserved the order after hearing arguments from the Chhattisgarh government and petitioners NGO Swaraj Abhiyan and T.S. Singhdeo, the leader of the Opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly.

The court said it was concerned whether any “fraud” was committed while purchasing a VIP AgustaWestland helicopter.

At the outset, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, told the court that the documents received under the RTI show that although the Bell helicopter was denied a bid, the government was still hiring it on rent.

The Chhattisgarh government, however, told the court that there was nothing wrong in the bid and that at present 24 AgustaWestland helicopters were flying in the country.