The arrest of the CEO of the Finmeccanica company in Italy has exposed the massive corruption involved in the contract of 12 Augusta-Westland helicopters. It is reported that Rs. 362 crore was the kickback involved in the deal.
Though the investigations in Italy into this bribery case was known for the past few months, the UPA government chose not to do anything on the plea of lack of “specific information”. Even now, when the Defence Ministry has ordered a CBI enquiry, the plea has been repeated that no specific information has been received so far from the governments concerned – UK and Italy. The entire report of the investigation by the Italian authorities has been reported in the media, yet the UPA government seeks to shelter behind this specious reason.
It is clear that the UPA government has failed to check high level corruption in defence contracts in the past eight years of its tenure. The helicopter deal is the latest instance.
The contract for the helicopters should be cancelled. The CBI investigation should be supervised by the Supreme Court, only then will people have confidence that we will get to the bottom of this affair.