CBI files charge sheet against ex-defence secy Shashi Kant Sharma & 4 others in AugustaWestland scam

The others include former Air Vice Marshal Jasbir Singh Panesar, former deputy chief test pilot SA Kunte, Wing Commander (Retrd) Thomas Mathew, and Group Captain (Retrd) N Santosh.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a charge sheet against former Defense Secretary and Comptroller and Auditor General Shashi Kant Sharma and former Air Vice Marshal Jasbir Singh Panesar among others in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland issue.

Sharma, who was the joint secretary in the Ministry of Defense when the agreement was being consulted, and Panesar are among five government officials against whom the agency has registered the charge sheet.


The others include former deputy chief test pilot SA Kunte, Wing Commander (Retrd) Thomas Mathew, and Group Captain (Retrd) N Santosh.

The agency had in March 2020 pursued sanctions for prosecution against these officials from the government. In September that year, the agency had registered a charge sheet against 14 individuals and entities who were allegedly engaged in the deal but had excluded Sharma and others for want of sanctions.

During inquiries in Switzerland, officials had found a statement remembering “JS Air” and also the initials of several people remembered on it. The note was allegedly formed by Michel and was named the “budget sheet”. It had also organized a remark in the Milan court when the possibility was going on there.

According to the Milan court rule, the note quoted initials, probably denoting designations of officials under several heads of ‘AF’ and ‘Bur’. It is the same note that cites ‘AP’ under the head of “Pol”. The court order has interpreted these heads as ‘Air Force’, ‘Bureaucrats’ and ‘Politicians’.

Against each head, there were charts in Euros. Against ‘AF’, the statue was Euro 6, while it was Euro 8.4 against ‘Bur’ and Euro 15/16 against ‘Pol’.

Initials mentioned under ‘AF’ included Dch, PDSR, 2FTT, and DG Maint. Under the head ‘Bur’, the initials mentioned comprised DS, JS Air, AFA Air, and DG Acq, CVC, and, Auditor gen. In the CBI charge sheet granted in September 2020, the 14 accused were eight individuals and five entities.

The individuals were identified by the agency as Rajiv Saxena (whose firms allegedly laundered money on behalf of Christian Michel), Sandeep Tyagi alias Kuki Tyagi (from the family of former IAF chief SP Tyagi); Praveen Bakshi and IDS infotech MD Partap Krishan Aggarwal (who allegedly laundered kickbacks along with Rajiv Saxena); Narendra Kumar Jain and Rajesh Kumar Jain of Kolkata (who allegedly floated shell firms); Sunil Kothari, then Managing Director of OM Metals Infotech Pvt. Ltd; Michel’s close affiliate and former GM of Westland Support Services Ltd K V Kunhikrishnan; Giacomino Saponaro, then MD of AgustaWestland International Ltd; and Deepak Goyal, who worked with the charge-sheeted indicted lawyer Gautam Khaitan.

The entities comprised IDS Infotech Ltd., Chandigarh; Aeromatrix Info Solutions Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; Neel Madhav Consultants Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi (through its Director Sandeep Tyagi); Mainak Agency Pvt. Ltd., (through its Directors Sandeep Tyagi and Sanjeev Tyagi); and Interstellar Technologies Ltd, Mauritius (through its Director Rajiv Saxena).

According to CBI, the pledge for which technical requirements were changed to help Agusta Westland authorize had been brokered by defence middleman Christian Michel and two other middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke. While the latter was allegedly “handling” the family of retired IAF chief SP Tyagi, Michel was handling with officials from the Ministry of Defense.