Tyagi arrived at the zonal office of the agency here just before 11 AM and agency sources said he will be questioned and his statement recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ex-IAF chief was questioned in the same case by CBI for the last three days. This is the first time that the ex-Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate.

Agency sources had earlier indicated that Tyagi's questioning was necessary in the light of a recent judgement of a Milan (Italy) court which had sentenced Italian defence and aerospace major Finmeccanica's former chief Giuseppe Orsi and the former CEO of the firm Bruno Spagnolini on corruption charges in the sale of a dozen AgustaWestland helicopters to

India for VVIP purposes.

Tyagi's name cropped at various points in the said judgement. The allegation against the former Air chief is that he allegedly reduced the height of the VVIP helicopters so that AgustaWestland could be included in the bids.

He took over as the Indian Air Force chief on December 31, 2005 and retired from service in 2007. ED had registered a PMLA case in this regard in 2014 and named 21 people including Tyagi in its money laundering FIR. It had also arrested Delhi-based businessman Gautam Khaitan and had also filed a charge sheet last year.

ED had earlier submitted that Khaitan was on the board of Chandigarh-based company Aeromatrix which was allegedly a front firm for the financial dealings in the chopper deal.

Tyagi, however, has denied any wrongdoing on his part.  On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force (IAF) over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of paying kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore by it for securing the deal.

The central agency has also issued Letters Rogatory (judicial requests) to ten countries in this case.

Earlier, targeting the previous UPA regime over the controversial AgustaWestland deal, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday said the ongoing probe will focus on those named in the Italian Court judgement even as he suggested the role of an ‘invisible hand’ in preventing a proper investigation earlier.

He, along with Parliamentary Affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, rejected the opposition demand for Supreme Court-monitored probe, protesting which Congress staged a walkout.
Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the controversy surrounding the Rs 3600 crore deal for 12 VVIP helicopters, Parrikar said there was ‘relentless push’ by the UPA to go in for the AgustaWestland choppers.

Narrating amid repeated disruptions the sequence of events related to the deal, he said CBI had registered a case on March 12, 2013 but it did not bother to forward a copy of the FIR to ED for nine months. Later, ED did not act on the FIR till July 2014, he said.

"It appears an invisible hand was guiding action or inaction of CBI and ED," the Minister said.

Noting that a probe was already underway, he said, "The inquiry will focus on roles of those named in the judgement of Italian court.. Government will leave no stone unturned in bringing to justice those involved in the scam".

He said CBI has already done a lot of investigation and is currently on the money trail to track down where the bribe money went.

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