In response to a petition filed by three former Indian Air Force officials contesting the summonses given to them in the $3,600 billion Augusta-Westland helicopter fraud, the Delhi High Court has requested a response from the CBI.
The CBI was given notice by Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain, who also set the subject for a follow-up hearing on January 16, 2023.
The three former officials have contested the trial court’s decision from July 18 summoning them as defendants in the case and the CBI’s second additional charge sheet, to the extent that it names them as defendants.
The summons against retired wing commodore Thomas Mathew, retired wing commodore Sanjay Anand Kunte, and retired air commodore Navyath Santosh were challenged.
According to the CrPC, which states that no court shall take cognizance of an offense without the prior sanction of the Central government, the three ex-officers asserted a lack of sanction for prosecution. They were represented by attorneys Akshat Bajpai, Ishanee Sharma, Gyan Prakash Bajpai, and Shobit Trehan.
The CBI claims that the contract, which was signed in February 2010 and was for the delivery of VVIP helicopters from the Augusta Westland business, cost the state an estimated 398.21 million euros (or roughly 2,666 crores).