No fresh defence deal has been signed with M/s Agusta Westland International Limited.
Action in regard to debarment depends on the outcome of ongoing investigations, including that by Central Bureau of Investigation.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Gopinath Munde in Lok Sabha today.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: In this written statement to Parliament, the Indian Minister of Defence has substantially diluted his previous public statements, in which has said that AgustaWestland’s AW101 contract would be cancelled, and the company disqualified from further business in India.
By saying any action “depends on the outcome of ongoing investigations,” Antony takes a much more conservative position, and implicitly recognizes that, to date, neither the CBI investigation nor the ongoing trial in Italy of former Finmeccanica officials, have found any corroboration to allegations of bribery and corruption in the AW101 contract.
On Dec. 11, Antony had already substantially backtracked on previous claims when he informed Parliament that previous allegations that the VVIP bid requirements had been improperly relaxed to allow the AW101 to compete were false.)