NEW DELHI: Defence Minister AK Antony today directed his ministry officials to get a fresh report from the Indian Embassy in Rome following media reports in the Italian media alleging malpractices by an Italian company which is also supplying 12 helicopters for the VVIP Communication Squadrons of the Indian Air Force from Ms Agusta Westland.
The Ministry of Defence today said there were media reports in February 2012 about investigations undertaken by Italian authorities into alleged unethical dealings by M/s Finmeccanica Italy. Following this, information was sought by the MoD from the Indian Embassy in Rome. The Indian Embassy had then reported that Italian authorities were conducting preliminary investigations on allegations of financial malpractices occurring within Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries in general. No specific probe was being conducted on the India-related transactions. There is no clear indication at this stage whether the India related deal would be probed on the basis of the preliminary investigations.
“The contract for the procurement of the helicopters contains the standard provisions against use of undue influence and employment of agents and payment of agency commission. A Pre-Contract Integrity Pact has also been signed between Agusta Westland and the MoD”, an MoD spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said.
Any such complaint or allegation, if received, will be investigated and the contractual provisions invoked in case any wrongdoing is established, in addition to action that may be required under law, Kar said.