The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday registered a complaint given by the defence ministry to probe alleged kickbacks paid by an Italian firm to clear the Rs 3,600 crore deal for VVIP helicopters.
The agency has registered the complaint to ascertain allegations of corruption against Indian nationals and whether any kickbacks were paid, CBI sources said.
The registration of complaint is the first step before initiating a formal inquiry in a case. A team of defence ministry officials on Friday handed over to the CBI documents pertaining to the case.
Once a complaint is received from a ministry, CBI officers decide whether it contains specific and definite allegations involving corruption or serious misconduct against public servants etc, which fall within the ambit of the CBI.
After a complaint is registered, the CBI decides whether to file preliminary inquiry, in case further groundwork is required, and subsequently register a case or file an FIR directly.
The CBI team had on Thursday asked the officials to provide its files related to any sort of internal enquiry undertaken by it in connection with alleged graft in acquiring 12 AW-101 helicopters from Italian firm AgustaWestland for IAF's elite communication squadron, which ferries the President, prime minister and other VVIPs, they said.
In February 2010, India had inked the Rs 3,600 crore deal to acquire 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from the Italian company for the services of VVIPs including the President and the PM.
On Monday, Italian agencies had arrested Giuseppe Orsi, the CEO of Agusta Westland, the subsidiary of Finmeccanica, for alleged bribes given to Indian middlemen to clinch the deal.