New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that the former UPA regime left no stone unturned to award the VVIP chopper deal to AgustaWestland.
Parrikar while addressing the Rajya Sabha said the previous regime's action against the deal was forced by circumstances and the inquiry into it was not initiated until it was unavoidable.
The Defence Minister said former air chief S.P. Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who are being repeatedly questioned by the CBI in the case, are small people and asked the government to find the big names who received the kickbacks in the deal.
Parrikar further said that procurement procedure was not followed in the deal, adding there was also discrepancies in the base price.
The Defence Minister further said UPA regime knew about the scam in February 2012, but still three helicopters were delivered in December. He added that the CBI registered an FIR in the matter in March 2013, but the copy of FIR was not forwarded to the Enforcement Directorate till December.
Moving on, Parrikar told the Upper House that the Enforcement Directorate took notice of the case only in July 2014 after the BJ-led NDA came into power.