New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against British Aerospace Systems, Tim Jones, Director Rolls Royce India and senior officials for alleged corruption in the purchase of Hawk 115 state-of-the-art jet training aircraft for the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

According to the FIR, the CBI has registered a case under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Rolls-Royce India Director Tim Jones, alleged arms suppliers Sudhir Chaudhary and Bhanu Chaudhary and British Aerospace Systems after completion of six years of investigation in the case.

In 2017, a UK court had also referred to the alleged involvement of middlemen and payment of commission by the company to execute the agreement, officials said.

It is alleged that during 2003-12, these accused, who were involved in the conspiracy, had “abused their official position” in connivance with unidentified public servants to procure 24 Hawk 115 AJTs at a cost of 734.2 million British pounds.

In addition, they allowed ‘license manufacturing’ of 42 additional aircraft of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in exchange for materials supplied to Rolls Royce for an additional amount of USD 308.2 million and USD 7.5 million in the name of manufacturer licence fee.

The CBI FIR alleged that the deal was done in lieu of “huge bribes, commissions and corruption” paid by Rolls-Royce to middlemen, even though the document related to the agreement called for “prohibition of payment of middlemen”.

The CBI investigation has revealed that important documents related to transactions were seized from the Rolls Royce India office during a survey conducted by the Income Tax Department in 2006-07, but the accused persons destroyed and deleted the documents to avoid investigation.

In 2012, there were reports of allegations of corruption in the operations of Rolls-Royce, resulting in an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), London.

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