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CBI may question ESL

CBI may question ESL
Highlights

New Delhi: CBI May Question E S L Narasimhan, The CBI is likely to question Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan \"very soon\" in connection with the alleged graft in the procurement of AgustaWestland VVIP choppers for 556.262 million euros (Rs 3,726.96 crore), officials said here on Tuesday.

  • Narasimhan is the third Governor to be quizzed
  • Wanchoo, Narayanan quit after questioning
  • ESL a key witness as he was the chief of IB in 2005
  • He attended a meeting which altered tech specification


Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan. Photo: Thehansindia E-PaperNew Delhi: The CBI is likely to question Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan "very soon" in connection with the alleged graft in the procurement of AgustaWestland VVIP choppers for 556.262 million euros (Rs 3,726.96 crore), officials said here on Tuesday.

Narasimhan, 68, will be the third Governor to be quizzed in the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which previously questioned former Goa Governor B V Wanchoo and former West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan.

The agency interrogated Narayanan and Wanchoo last week as witnesses and they resigned soon after. Officials said Narasimhan "might be questioned today (Tuesday) or some time during this week itself.”

CBI sources said Narasimhan would also be questioned as a witness in the case because he was the chief of the Intelligence Bureau in 2005 when the officials tweaked the technical specifications for the helicopters it wanted to buy, allowing AgustaWestland to qualify. Narayanan was National Security Advisor at the time and Wanchoo was chief of the Special Protection Group (SPG), which handles the prime minister's security.

CBI sources said Narasimhan, along with Narayanan and Wanchoo, attended the March 1, 2005, meeting where the decision to reduce service ceiling -- maximum height at which a helicopter can perform optimally -- was taken, making AgustaWestland eligible for the deal.

The CBI sources further said Narasimhan's statement was also crucial to get additional inputs about the reasons for reducing service ceiling. The CBI had alleged that reduction of the service ceiling allowed the Britain-based firm to get into the fray, as otherwise its helicopters were not even qualified for submission of bids.

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