CBI seeks sanction to prosecute five govt officials

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought sanction to prosecute five government officials allegedly involved in the Rs 3,600-cr VVIP chopper scam.

These include four senior defence officials and one senior bureaucrat. The agency has approached the ministry of defence seeking prosecution sanction of the key officials, chiefly from the Indian Air Force, said people with direct knowledge of the matter.

They said the five officials took “key decisions” and were actively involved in the “procurement process” of the chopper deal which took place during UPA-II regime. Relevant evidence allegedly incriminating the five officials has been furnished by the agency. The prosecution sanction is awaited, said sources.

The agency will file its supplementary charge sheet after the grant/denial of prosecution sanction(s) by the defence ministry and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

The alleged involvement of the said five public servants has come to the fore for the first time.

ET was the first to report on March 2 that two officials – a former IAF officer and a member of the then Defence Procurement Board — have become witnesses for CBI.

The duo, in their testimonies before the special CBI Court, had revealed the details of the leaking of confidential information and documents, pertaining to the deal to a former air force official hired by the alleged middleman Christian Michel.

The two government officials had deposed under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

On March 3, the CBI had told a local court that nearly 20 new accused will figure in its second supplementary charge sheet.

The agency had also said it will seek prosecution sanction of public servants.

The second supplementary charge sheet is expected to underline the alleged role played by Michel and the “network” he used to allegedly extract classified information from different ministries, especially defence and finance ministries.

The third supplementary charge sheet will bring into spotlight the alleged involvement of more government servants, including senior defence officials. The VVIP chopper scandal caused a wrongful loss of 398.21 million euros to the Centre, according to the CBI charge sheet in September 2017.





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