Chopper deal: Stopped paying AgustaWestland, says govt

The government has said it has stopped all payments to AgustaWestland. In a statement explaining its position on the matter, the government has said it has written to the Italian company for an explanation and has asked it to state whether there was a violation of the integrity pact.

"As soon as information was available of one concrete step having been taken by the concerned foreign investigative authorities, namely, the arrest of Mr Guiseppe Orsi, CEO, Finmeccanica, on Feb 12, 2013, MoD handed over the case to CBI for investigation and put on hold all further payments to AgustaWestland," the government statement reads.

It says the company has been asked for its response to the allegations. "The CEO of M/s AgustaWestland has also been asked to categorically state the clear position in view of the current developments indicating specifically if any financial transaction has taken place with any Indian individual / entity which would be violative of the Integrity Pact or any other terms and conditions of the contract," the statement says.

The government said a tax probe on the Indians named in the Italian investigation is on. "In November 2012, a letter was received in MoD from the director, income tax (investigations) regarding allegations against Indians possibly involved in the deal as middlemen and seeking information about them... MoD asked Income Tax to share with it any 'credible information'," it says.

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