Thursday, December 27, 2012

AW-101s - Quid Pro Quo?

Neelam Mathews
Dec 27, 2012
The ghost of the adage, ‘You scratch my back, I scratch yours,’ continues to flutter in India’s corridors of power. Is it fact, imagination or  just a strange coincidence that the day the two Italian marines held for the killing of two fishermen off Kerala’s coast were allowed to ‘go home for Christmas’  even as two of the 12 ordered VVIPs AW101s flew to India? Wonder if the day will come when all those on bail are permitted to fly to Bangkok or the US to celebrate Diwali or Eid with their families? Suppose they miss their relatives too.
Coming back to this issue, what in the blazes happened to defense minister A.K Antony ensuring the bribery- report that emanated in Italy on the procurement of the 12 helicopters was shared with the Indian government before it accepted delivery of the helicopters?
Here at AerospaceDiary, we do feel that the government should put its foot down when OEMs create issues to derail procurements when rejected. However, the issue here is of consistency by the government that cannot back-track on its promise to check first whether there was disregard for India’s sovereign law that does not officially permit third party middlemen and bribes.

Ofcourse, whether the marines return to Kerala to await their fate by Jan 10, remains to be seen. Hopefully we as media, will not leave that as another forgotten story.

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