The Ministry of Defence on Tuesday has suspended all business dealings with Switzerland-based company Pilatus Aircraft Ltd for a term of one year from the date of issue until further order. The step has been taken by the MoD against the Pilatus Aircraft Ltd in the light of the violation of Pre-Contract Integrity Pact and the ongoing probe by the CBI, Delhi Police, ED and Income tax department for its alleged involvement in corrupt and illegal activities.
"In accordance with the Guidelines, the competent authority has decided that business dealings with Pilatus Aircraft Ltd will remain suspended for a period of one year from the date of the issue," reads the Ministry of Defence notice.
This development has come almost a month after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) banned all business dealings with Robert Vadra's close aide and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari's firm Offset India Solutions (P) Ltd and its Group companies.
In relations to suspension of dealings with Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, the Defence Ministry stated that Pilatus has admitted to paying 1 million Swiss Francs into account of Robert Vadra's aide Sanjay Bhandari’s Offset India Solutions at the New Delhi branch of Standard Chartered Bank in 2 transactions in August and October 2010.
Earlier, the CBI also registered a case against arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari on charges of irregularities and corruption in the procurement of 75 Pilatus PC-7 basic trainer aircraft in 2009. Along with Sanjay Bhandari, a case was also registered against unknown officials of Indian Air Force, Ministry of Defence for alleged corruption in procurement of 75 Pilatus basic trainer aircraft in 2009.
The CBI has named Swiss-based Pilatus Aircraft Ltd as an accused in the case pertaining to the charges of irregularities and bribe of Rs 339 crore in the procurement. The Pilatus deal involved the purchase of 75 Pilatus PC-7 basic trainer aircraft for the IAF, which was in total worth Rs 2,896 crore.