A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to Sanjeev Tyagi, cousin of ex-IAF chief S.P. Tyagi, and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in VVIP chopper scam case, saying that no purpose would be served by keeping them in custody.
Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar gave relief to both the accused on a personal bond of Rs. 2 lakh each and surety of like amount while imposing certain conditions on them.
The court warned them not to tamper with the evidence or try to influence the witnesses.
The court had earlier granted bail to 72-year-old former IAF chief Tyagi, saying that CBI has failed to state the alleged bribe amount and when it was paid.
It had noted that Tyagi had joined the investigation as and when CBI called him and it was not the case that he either tampered with evidence after registration of the FIR or influenced witnesses in the case.
Tyagi, who retired in 2007, his cousin Sanjeev and Khaitan were arrested on December 9, 2016, by the CBI in connection with the case which relates to procurement of 12 VVIP choppers from the UK-based firm during the UPA-2 regime.
Additional Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, had earlier opposed the bail pleas saying that, if set free, they might influence witnesses and hamper the “multi-layered probe by various agencies in more than one jurisdiction involving several countries”. Mr. Sanjeev’s counsel had opposed the CBI’s contention.
Advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey, counsel for Mr. Khaitan, had also countered the CBI’s argument, claiming that the agency was trying to sensationalise the matter and there was no allegation that his client had not joined the probe or tried to influence it.
The accused sought bail on the grounds that the evidence was documentary in nature and had already been seized by CBI and they have cooperated with the probe agency.
Mr. Sanjeev and Mr. Khaitan were lodged in judicial custody.
The CBI said it was a “very serious” and “a very high-profile” case requiring interrogation to unearth a larger conspiracy as the “interest of the nation was compromised”.
Mr. Tyagi’s counsel had earlier claimed that the decision to procure VVIP choppers from AgustaWestland was a “collective” one and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was also a part of it.