<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Submitting that the investigation was at a crucial stage and more than two lakh records needed to be perused, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought time till Friday to present his arguments opposing former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi’s bail. Mehta further added that from what he had already read, a serious case was emerging in the pre-chargesheet stage.The former ACM, his cousin Sanjeev aka Julie, and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan, who were arrested in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper scam, were remanded to judicial custody till December 30 on Saturday.However, despite the CBI’s reluctance to continue the trial, special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar at the Patiala House court allowed the defence counsels to present their arguments for bail. Over the course of the afternoon, the defence team made its arguments in front of a full court.Right off the bat, Menaka Guruswamy, representing the former air chief, submitted that given the chargesheet was supposed to be filed sometime this year, the CBI was inconsistent in its statements, and her client was languishing in jail over an unwarranted arrest.Guruswamy stressed that the charges were economic in nature, the documents had already been investigated by the CBI. She claimed that the only charge against her client was vague, and that the CBI had based their allegations on the judgment from an Italian court of appeals. Incidentally, the Italian Supreme Court accepted the plea and ordered a re-trial of Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEOs of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland, who were convicted for bribing Indian government officials for a 560 million Euro deal involving the sale of 12 helicopters.Pleading for release, Guruswamy informed the court that, “All evidence in the nature of bank and account statements which are documentary, have been seized by the CBI. My client’s bank accounts have been frozen by the CBI. He has never evaded summons of the CBI, nor has the agency alleged non-cooperation.” Alleging that there is no more evidence to be given by SP Tyagi, she concluded her submission by saying “Please let me go home.”Tyagi’s counsel also acknowledged the veterans who had come to support Tyagi, Guruswamy said “Colleagues have come for each of the hearings and they have also signed a petition expressing their anguish and demanded his (SP Tyagi’s) release.”PK Dubey, representing Khaitan, similarly sought for compassion for his client.In his defence, Manav Gupta, Julie Tyagi’s lawyer, attempted to prove that CBI’s claim stating that the money his client got was the only consultancy fee he had ever received was wrong. “I will prove that there are at least 16 other clients over the years who have paid me more money than the Italian national as consultancy fees,” Gupta submitted for Julie.Despite what can only be perceived as stalling tactics by the CBI, support for ACM Tyagi has increased. An online petition, that includes an open letter to the prime minister and also demanding Tyagi’s release, has already garnered more than 1500 signatories in 24 hours. Many among the veteran community believe that Tyagi is a fall guy, a scape goat, and also perhaps a political diversion for reasons best known to the government. “The current procedures are so complicated and cumbersome that it is all but impossible for ACM Tyagi to have influenced any kind of deal,” a veteran said. “Deals of these kinds are hardly ever done by sitting high-level officers and it is often carried out by the bureaucracy,” he added.

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Ex-IAF chief Tyagi sent to judicial custody