Agusta Westland case: Former Defense Secretary, Auditor General Shashi Kant Sharma gets bail

New Delhi: A special court on Thursday granted bail to former Defense Secretary, former Comptroller and Auditor General Shashi Kant Sharma in the alleged Agusta Westland VVIP chopper scam case. According to reports, the court said that Sharma was released on bail on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and one surety of like amount.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar, while granting bail to Shashikant Sharma, took note of the submission of CBI counsel who had said that the Central Bureau of Investigation has no objection if the accused is granted bail.

Advocates RK Handu and Aditya Choudhary, appearing for Shashi Kant Sharma, submitted that he is a retired IAS officer and served as Defense Secretary to the Government of India till May 2013 and thereafter as Comptroller and Auditor General from 2013 to September 2017. worked on.

The lawyers further submitted that the applicant is innocent and has been falsely implicated in the present case and has nothing to do with the offenses alleged in the charge sheet. The applicant has cooperated in the investigation and has appeared before the CBI. The applicant is a pensioner and income tax payer and is 69 years old and suffering from old age related ailments. The applicant has suffered a heart attack and stenting has been done. and is still being treated by a cardiologist.

After the court summons, Shashikant Sharma appeared in the court on Thursday. On the last date of hearing, the court, taking cognizance of the chargesheet, directed all the accused to appear on April 28, 2022. The CBI had earlier informed the court that it has got sanction for prosecution against Shashikant Sharma.

The agency had sought the government’s approval to prosecute Sharma for alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.

The CBI had in September 2020 filed a chargesheet against 15 accused, including individuals and private companies, in a case related to the award of a contract to a UK-based company for the supply of 12 VVIP helicopters.

The AgustaWestland case is a corruption case which is being investigated by the CBI and the ED. It is alleged that “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, were bribed during the UPA regime, when India agreed to buy 12 Agusta Westland helicopters manufactured by Italian defense manufacturing company Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore. Later in 2014, the said deal was scrapped by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

first published:April 28, 2022, 8:16 p.m.

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