FOR the first time in Indian history a former military chief has been named as a beneficiary of a multi-crore scandal. After Bofors deal scandalized Indian polity for involving the highest among the political class the government has decided to completely do away with middle-men in defence procurement from foreign manufacturers.
But the investigation report made by the Italians on the Finmeccanica helicopter deal named former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi as a beneficiary, even as he admitted that the three agents in the deal were his cousins.
This raises some pertinent questions on how and why should kin of serving military top brass be allowed to openly flaunt their connections with the defence ministry and bureaucracy to siphon off commission in mega-deals which are questionable on price as well as quality. A few months ago Tatra trucks had been at the centre of a raging defence scandal in the country.
In the Finmeccanica helicopter deal 1,00,000 euros have been allegedly paid to the three cousins (Julie Tyagi, Docsa Tyagi and Sandeep Tyagi) of the former air-chief marshal. In a preliminary 64-page report filed in the tribunal of Busto Arsizio city, Italian investigators have nailed the trail of funds through alleged middlemen—Guido Haschke, Carlo Gerosa and Christian Michel. “They promised and managed to pay, through brothers (Sanjeev) Julie Tyagi, Dosca Tyagi and Sandeep Tyagi, a certain amount of money, not yet quantified, to Air Chief Marshal Shashi Tyagi”. It won’t be surprising when the scandal snowballs the appointment of SP Tyagi as Air Chief Marshal also comes under a cloud.
The tragedy is that the real culprit is always behind the curtains. Sheila Dikshit, Jaipal Reddy, Kumari Shelja were not probed is the Commonwealth Scam to shield the real beneficiaries of the scam. Kalmadi was the fall guy. Raja was made the fall guy in the 2G. Coalgate was never probed into its logical end. Tatra Scandal and the Chopper deal like all other massive defence deals lead to the same cover-up to protect the fountainhead of all that is shady about the UPA. After all, AK Antony is small fry, a much smudged rubber stamp.