Defence Ministry Suspends Business Dealings with Pilatus Aircraft

Rajnath Singh-led Defence Ministry has suspended all business dealings with Switzerland-based Pilatus Aircraft Limited over alleged corruption charges faced by the company.

The order issued by the vigilance department of the ministry on 12 July said that business dealings with Pilatus with remain suspended for one year for violation of the Pre-Contract Integrity Pact (PCIP), news agency ANI reported.

The Ministry's decision came after CBI's inputs, who in June registered a case against arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, officials of Swiss company Pilatus Aircraft Ltd and some unknown officials of the Indian Air Force and the Defence Ministry in the 2009 trainer aircraft deal case.

Also Read: CBI Files Case Against Sanjay Bhandari Over Alleged Kickbacks

What Is the Pilatus-Defence Ministry Deal?

In 2009, the Indian Air Force had issued a request proposal for procurement of 75 basic trainer aircraft of which Pilatus Aircraft was one of the bidders.

The company bagged the deal to supply the aircraft in 2012.

Corruption Charges

According to a CBI report examined by IANS, the agency had alleged:

"To obtain the contract for supply of 75 basic trainer aircrafts to IAF, Pilatus Aircrafts entered into a criminal conspiracy with Sanjay Bhandari by fraudulently signing a Service Provider Agreement with the latter in June 2010 in violation of the Defence Procurement Procedure."

The agency had further alleged that kickbacks up to Rs 339 crore were paid in the deal to influence some unknown IAF and Defence Ministry officials, who were associated with the procurement process.

In 2018, while the CBI investigation was going on, the Defence Ministry had also ordered the suspension of all business dealings with Bhandari's firms.

(With inputs from ANI and IANS)

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