Contract termination notice without firm basis for action: AgustaWestland

Chopper dealAgustaWestland said the Defence Ministry had stated that the tender process had been duly followed. (PTI)

After India scrapped its Rs 3,600 crore deal for supplying VVIP choppers, Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland on Friday said the contract termination notice sent to it does not offer any firm basis for taking any action against it.

In a statement, the firm also said the Defence Ministry, in a press release issued in February last year, had stated that the tender process had been duly followed.

The firm said it welcomed India's decision to get involved in the arbitration process and it will soon propose names of persons for selecting the third arbitrator as part of the exercise.

"AgustaWestland still finds that neither the termination notice by the Ministry of Defence nor the showcause notice, from which this termination notice stems, offers adequate basis to take any action against the company," it said.

It is the Ministry of Defence's admitted position (PIB release of Defence Ministry statement February 14, 2013) that the tender process has been duly followed, it said.

"Accordingly, the termination notice received yesterday will have to be discussed within the framework of a fair arbitration process.

"To this end, AgustaWestland will soon propose the names of the persons for the purpose of selecting the third arbitrator by agreement of the parties, as requested by the Indian Ministry of Defence," the statement said.

In the statement, the firm said it has received the orders issued by the Indian government for cancelling the deal and appointment of an arbitrator from its side, as requested by AgustaWestland on November 25 and December 4, 2013.

On January 1, India cancelled the Rs 3,600 crore deal signed on February 8, 2010 for procuring 12 VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland and along with it agreed for arbitration process by appointing retired Justice B P Jeevan Reddy.

AgustaWestland had appointed former Justice B N Srikrishna on its behalf for the purpose.

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