No proposal to review anti-graft law: Antony
New Delhi, Mar 11 : Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said there is no proposal to review anti-graft law in connection to the VVIP chopper scam involving AgustaWestland, the Anglo-Italian helicopter company owned by Italy's Finmeccanica.
"Presently, there is no proposal to review anti-graft law as applicable in the UK is under consideration of the Ministry of Defence," said Antony in Lok Sabha on Monday.
"Since the reports that had appeared in the media about alleged wrong doing and unethical conduct by M/s Finmeccanica, parent Company of M/s Agusta Westland, UK in connection with the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters also referred to alleged involvement of a middleman who is said to be a British Consultant, and the fact that the contract had been signed with M/s Agusta Westland, UK, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) was requested to take up the matter with the Government of UK requesting their cooperation in verifying the allegations and helping us by providing relevant information relating to the alleged involvement of a middleman and/or of any Indian individual/entity.
"The UK side informed MEA that they have not launched any investigation and are awaiting the results of the Italian investigation in order to ascertain whether any further action needs to be taken," he said.
Antony said all capital procurements are carried out as per procedure laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
"DPP contains provisions of penalties to be imposed if any seller engages any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign, whatsoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way recommend to Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, for the award of the contract to the seller.
"These provisions are in place to check the role of middlemen and ensure the highest degree of probity, public accountability and transparency in defence acquisition cases," he said.
"Besides this, the Pre-Contract Integrity Pact, signed with the vendor, provides for invocation of contractual provisions in case any wrong doing is established in addition to any action that may be required to be taken under the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code," said the minister.
The Italian prosecutors, who named former Air Force chief SP Tyagi as a part of the alleged payment of kickbacks in the Rs 3600 crore purchase deal of VVIP choppers by India from AugustaWestland in 2010, earlier said they have enough evidence against Tyagi for framing the charges.
There are allegations of kickbacks worth 50 million euros in the scam, according to media reports.