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first_imgThe Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the Raman Singh-led BJP government in Chhattisgarh of accusations of playing fraud on the public exchequer in the purchase of an Agusta Westland chopper in 2007 for VVIP use.A Bench of Justices A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit dismissed the petition filed by NGO Swaraj Abhiyan alleging that the government made the purchase in a dubious manner by floating a sham tender and with one individual representing all the three competitive bidders. The NGO alleged that $1.324 million was paid in excess for the helicopter.The NGO had handed over to the court RTI records pertaining to the purchase worth over $5 million.“Superior” quality machinesThe government had justified the purchase, saying the Agusta machines were of a “superior” quality and there were 24 of them flying in India.The court had said it was not going into the government’s choice of choppers but was only concerned with whether there was fraud played with public money.“Our apprehension is whether you have played fraud with the public exchequer, whether there was any hanky-panky… that is our only concern. You have to explain your position. We will see whether there is a reasonable suspicion for warranting an investigation. If there is patent material for a probe, we will. If not, then it is ok, we will close the matter,” Justice Goel had said.The court had also heard submissions that a foreign bank account was opened “by the son of the Chief Minister” at the time of the bid for the chopper.last_img

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