New Delhi: A special court on Monday granted bail to former IAF chief S P Tyagi who was arrested in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case, on Rs 2 lakh surety and other usual clauses.
The court has asked Tyagi to cooperate in the case and not to leave the country.
The plea of other two accused – Julie Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan – will be decided on January 4, 2017.
The former IAF chief’s wife, daughter and son were present inside the court when the order was pronounced.
Speaking on the issue D R Karthikeyan, Former Director, CBI said, “The court must have felt that proof is not strong enough against Tyagi.”
Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar had reserved its order on the bail applications of Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan and posted the matter for December 26 for pronouncing the order.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, had opposed the bail pleas of the accused, saying if set free, they might influence witnesses and hamper the “multi-layered probe by various agencies in more than one jurisdictions involving several countries”.
“The persons are of high ranking… The investigation is going on and we are getting support from other countries. If they get bail, they may influence witnesses, destroy evidences and hamper the ongoing probe which is at a very crucial stage.
“We have evidences where the meetings unofficially took place for the purpose of crime. At this stage, please do not entertain their bail pleas. Let the probe be completed,” he said, seeking dismissal of the bail pleas of all three accused and adding that the matter has “tarnished country’s name.”
However, the CBI also told the court that “it is not our argument that the accused may flee from justice.”
On the court’s query whether the CBI had any material regarding S P Tyagi receiving money, the agency said the former IAF chief had purchased several properties for which the sources of income were not disclosed by him and alleged that he had abused his official position.
Opposing CBI’s contention, S P Tyagi’s advocate Maneka Guruswamy said his client “could not be deprived from freedom if the investigation is taking time to complete”.
She claimed before the court that in the last four years since the FIR was registered, the CBI has never been able to confront Tyagi with any incriminating evidence till date.
“Even today (on December 23), the CBI has not demonstrated anything more than a statement that my client recieved some cash. He is already retired and not going to influence the probe today and there is no evidence to suggest that he tried to do so in the past,” the counsel said.