A 30-member joint committee comprising members of India's two houses of Parliament will now inquire into the AgustaWestland AW101 VVIP helicopter deal that the Indian government signed in February 2010. India suspended payment on the €556-million recently following allegations of illegal pay-offs to middlemen both in India and in Europe.
The Indian MoD, incidentally, has also rejected the official response by AgustaWestland on Feb 20 which claimed that the company had complied with all rules. The MoD is expected to send AgustaWestland a follow-up questionaire with a list of specific questions on its relationship with middlemen named in the Italian investigations so far.
AgustaWestland delivered three AW101 helicopters to the Indian Air Force in December, and has said in its letter that it expects to be paid "in a timely manner" for the remaining deliveries -- a statement the Indian MoD appears to have scoffed at for now. Updates soon.
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