NEW DELHI, April 28 - The Supreme Court today said it will hear next week a PIL seeking registration of an FIR against political leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in connection with AgustaWestland chopper case.
A Bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice R Banumathi and Justice UU Lalit, ordered listing of the PIL when advocate ML Sharma said that it is an urgent matter which should be heard at the earliest.
The CBI had in 2013 registered a case in connection with alleged bribes paid by the firm to Indians to clinch the deal for 12 helicopters to ferry VVIPs, including the President and Prime Minister.
An Italian court has reportedly cited handwritten references to Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and former Air Chief SP Tyagi by a middleman in a judgement that convicted the helicopter company�s chief executive.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told the Rajya Sabha that India has approached the British government for extradition of Christian Michel, the middleman named by Italian investigators as a key intermediary in swinging the controversial deal for AgustaWestland choppers.
The matter is under consideration of the concerned British authorities, he said.
The controversial deal and the alleged bribes to the tune of Rs 120 crore paid in clinching the chopper deal for AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica, has triggered a political slugfest between BJP and Congress.
The Congress has said that the charges against its leaders are false and baseless. It yesterday claimed that AgustaWestland was blacklisted under the UPA rule, but it was �removed� from the blacklist by the Modi government.
BJP president Amit Shah took a jibe at the Congress president asking her to name the beneficiaries of the bribes in the AgustaWestland chopper deal. The Congress responded by saying that it was for the investigating agencies to bring out the names.
On its part, the government promised to leave no stone unturned to bring to justice the corrupt and wrong doers.
�There is no question of bribe taking by the political leadership of the Congress party and allegations against them are baseless,� Gandhi�s political secretary Ahmed Patel said. � PTI