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AgustaWestland withdraws arbitraration proceedings against India

ANI | Updated: Feb 28, 2019 20:29 IST

New Delhi (India) Feb 28 (ANI): AgustaWestland firm on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that it is withdrawing arbitration proceedings against India, pending before an arbitration tribunal in wake of serious criminal charges against them.
The government had filed a plea challenging the proceedings initiated by the Italian firm. "There are severe criminal proceedings going on against Agusta Westland due to which arbitration proceedings cannot be allowed to go on," Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand told the court. 
India had also filed a declaratory suit seeking a permanent injunction against the arbitral proceedings in view of the serious allegations of commission of acts of criminal nature being tried by Criminal Courts in India.
The chargesheet filed in the criminal proceedings implicated Augusta Westland as an accused in the bribery and corruption case in the procurement of 12 VVIP helicopters. It was alleged that AgustaWestland and its officials amongst others were involved in giving kickbacks for securing a contract for supply of VVIP helicopters.
The case involved extradition of Christian Michel and arrests of Gautam Khaitan after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) unearthed crucial evidence of criminal misdoings including offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, prevention of corruption Act and provisions of IPC, by Agusta Westland and its officials.
The government was constrained to file the suit for injunction after the Arbitral Tribunal did not give a decision on a similar application and kept it pending for a long time. The Republic of India was represented by Pinky Anand, ASG assisted by Rajesh Ranjan, Sumit Teterwal, Saudamini sharma, Joel and Kritika Sachdeva. (ANI)

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