New Delhi: In a major step, the government has decided to lift the ban on transactions with banned Italian company Leonardo (first named Finmeccanica) in connection with the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper scam. According to a report received, government sources said the ban on dealing with the company with conditions has been lifted.
The investigation against the company will continue by the CENTRAL BUREAU of Investigation and enforcement directorate against the verdict. Sources said the company will not be allowed to make any financial claim from the Government of India on the basis of any agreement signed earlier. After the ban is lifted, it has to be reintroduced. India banned the deal with the company in 2013-14 due to the UPA government's tenure, when European agencies arrested several people for their character in a Rs 3600 crore deal to supply 12 AW-101 helicopters to India for VVIP.
The same sources said that the defence ministry has taken the decision on the basis of request of the Italian company and consultation with the Law Ministry and other agencies. Even though the corruption case was related only to August Westland at that time, any deal with the entire group Finmeccanica has been put on hold. It also included deals in black shark torpedoes, which were allowed to be acquired by the Indian Navy at that time.