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�Invisible hand� prevented probe earlier: Centre

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, May 4 - Targeting the previous UPA regime over the controversial AgustaWestland deal, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today 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 Venkaiah Naidu, rejected the Opposition demand for a Supreme Court-monitored probe, protesting which Congress staged a walkout.

Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the controversy surrounding the Rs 3,600-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 the CBI had registered a case on March 12, 2013 but it did not bother to forward a copy of the FIR to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for nine months. Later, ED did not act on the FIR till July 2014, he added.

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

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

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

�Pursuant to the judgement of the Milan Appellate Court, the Defence Ministry has written to both the ED and the CBI to take into account contents of the judgement and conclude the investigations expeditiously,� Parrikar said.

He added that the Defence Ministry is initiating the process of blacklisting the companies concerned and for legal proceedings for recovery of damages.

Beginning his speech by promising to not take names so that there is no disturbance, the Defence Minister mentioned an anecdote of Birbal related to a �theft� to suggest that the Congress was unnerved, fearing the truth would implicate it.

�The country wants to know who instigated, supported and benefited from the corruption. We cannot let this pass,� Parrikar said.

He added that the fact that there was corruption in the matter is brought out in extensive details in recent judgments of the Milan court.

�A litany of omissions and commissions at various stages of the decision-making process indicate malafide and corrupt actions, driven by a goal to favour a particular vendor,� the Defence Minister said. � PTI

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�Invisible hand� prevented probe earlier: Centre

NEW DELHI, May 4 - Targeting the previous UPA regime over the controversial AgustaWestland deal, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today 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 Venkaiah Naidu, rejected the Opposition demand for a Supreme Court-monitored probe, protesting which Congress staged a walkout.

Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the controversy surrounding the Rs 3,600-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 the CBI had registered a case on March 12, 2013 but it did not bother to forward a copy of the FIR to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for nine months. Later, ED did not act on the FIR till July 2014, he added.

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

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

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

�Pursuant to the judgement of the Milan Appellate Court, the Defence Ministry has written to both the ED and the CBI to take into account contents of the judgement and conclude the investigations expeditiously,� Parrikar said.

He added that the Defence Ministry is initiating the process of blacklisting the companies concerned and for legal proceedings for recovery of damages.

Beginning his speech by promising to not take names so that there is no disturbance, the Defence Minister mentioned an anecdote of Birbal related to a �theft� to suggest that the Congress was unnerved, fearing the truth would implicate it.

�The country wants to know who instigated, supported and benefited from the corruption. We cannot let this pass,� Parrikar said.

He added that the fact that there was corruption in the matter is brought out in extensive details in recent judgments of the Milan court.

�A litany of omissions and commissions at various stages of the decision-making process indicate malafide and corrupt actions, driven by a goal to favour a particular vendor,� the Defence Minister said. � PTI