Sanjeev Tyagi, lawyer Khaitan get bail in VVIP chopper case

NEW DELHI
4 Jan 2017

A Delhi court today granted bail to Sanjeev Tyagi, cousin of ex-IAF chief S P Tyagi, and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in VVIP chopper scam case, saying that no purpose would be served by keeping them in custody. Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar gave the relief to both the accused on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh each and one surety of like amount while imposing certain conditions on them. The court ordered them not to tamper with the evidence or try to influence the witnesses. The court had earlier granted bail to 72-year-old former IAF chief Tyagi, saying that CBI has failed to state the alleged bribe amount and when it was paid. It had noted that Tyagi had joined the investigation as and when CBI called him and it was not the case that he either tampered with evidence after registration of the FIR or influenced witnesses in the case. Tyagi, who retired in 2007, his cousin Sanjeev and Khaitan were arrested on December 9, 2016 by CBI in connection with the case which relates to procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from UK-based firm during the UPA-2 regime. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, had earlier opposed the bail pleas of the accused, saying if set free, they might influence witnesses and hamper the "multi-layered probe by various agencies in more than one jurisdiction involving several countries". Advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey, counsel for Khaitan, had also countered CBI's argument, claiming that the agency was trying to sensationalise the matter and there was no allegation that his client had not joined the probe or tried to influence it. Sanjeev's counsel had also opposed CBI's contention saying there was no reason to claim that if granted the relief, his client would hamper the probe. The accused sought bail on the grounds that the evidence was documentary in nature and had already been seized by CBI and they have cooperated with the probe agency. Sanjeev and Khaitan were lodged in judicial custody. CBI had said it was a "very serious" and "a very high-profile" case requiring interrogation to unearth larger conspiracy as the "interest of the nation was compromised". Tyagi's counsel had earlier claimed that the decision to procure VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland was a "collective" one and Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was also a part of it.(PTI)