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SC to hear plea against Sonia, Manmohan in chopper deal

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it would hear, next week, a PIL seeking the registration of FIR against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other political leaders in the AgustaWestland Chopper alleged case.

A bench of Chief Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit directed the listing of the matter next week as PIL petitioner, advocate M.L.Sharma, sought an urgent hearing of the matter.

Besides urging the court to direct the registration of FIR against all those named in the judgment by the Italian court in the case, Sharma has sought a court supervised probe by a special investigation team (SIT) or the Central Vigilance Commission.

He has urged the court decide whether decision of the Italian court was not enough to “implicate and prosecute” the people whose names find mention in the judgment under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The PIL also said if the court should decide if the investigation into the matter involving “high profile” people could be left to be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation or it should be supervised by the top court.

It asked the court to address whether the reduction of helicopter’s altitude capacity from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres to facilitate Italian suppliers was not a serious criminal offence compromising national security.

The Italian court, while convicting the four former senior ranking officials including former AgustaWestland CEO, have said that the company was asked to approach Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and party leader Oscar Fernandes.

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