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vvip copter scam
CBI canít question Guvs, SG tells govt
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, May 22
Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran has clarified that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has no power to question the Governors of West Bengal and Goa over the alleged kickbacks involving the Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter deal. 

The Solicitor General has given his opinion in response to a clarification sought by the Law Ministry on behalf of the CBI, which is probing the deal.

MK Narayanan and BV Wanchoo, Governors of West Bengal and Goa, respectively, enjoy immunity from criminal proceedings under Article 361 of the Constitution and as such they are not liable to answer any query from the CBI or any other investigation agency, the SG has advised the government.

The CBI wanted to seek clarifications from the two Governors over the deal for the purchase of 12 helicopters from British-Italian multinational company AgustaWestland for use by the President, Prime Minister and other VVIPs.

The government cancelled the deal following allegations that the company paid bribe to Indian officials in breach of the terms and conditions laid down in the purchase agreement.

In the FIR, the CBI has named former Air Chief SP Tyagi, his cousins and several others as accused in the case.

Immunity from prosecution

The Solicitor General has informed the Law Ministry that MK Narayanan and BV Wanchoo, Governors of West Bengal and Goa, respectively, are not liable to answer queries from any investigation agency since they enjoy immunity under the Constitution

Narayanan was the NSA, while Wanchoo was heading the SPG when the VVIP helicopter deal was under negotiation during 2004-06; the two had attended meetings held for clinching the deal

The SG has, however, clarified that they will be liable for investigation and prosecution once they demit the office as Governors

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