British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday assured his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that his nation will respond to any request for information sought by New Delhi regarding alleged corruption in Agusta Westland deal for 12 VVIP choppers with Italian company Finmeccanica.
"We will respond to any request for information. I am glad that the Italian authorities are looking into this issue in detail, as Finmeccanica is an Italian company, the parent company of AgustaWestland," said Cameron at Hyderabad House here, during joint media statement after his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"We have introduced strong anti-bribery legislation in Britain, that is probably the strongest anywhere in the world," he added.
Dr. Singh earlier in his statement to the media during the British Prime Minister's visit said that his government had sought full assistance from the United Kingdom in investigating bribery allegations surrounding the Anglo-Italian helicopter deal.
"I also conveyed to Prime Minister Cameron our very serious concerns regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing the 2010 contract for Agusta Westland helicopters. I told him that we have sought an explanation from the company by February 22 to examine if the contractual provisions on unethical practices and the Integrity Pact have been violated," said Dr. Singh.
" I have sought full assistance from the U.K. in this case. Prime Minister Cameron has assured me of the cooperation of his Government in the investigations," he added.
A CBI team has left for Italy to probe the allegations of kickbacks in the deal.
The Ministry of Defence earlier on Saturday directed Joint Secretary A.K. Bal to travel to Italy to gather as much evidence as possible relating to the allegations of corruption in the acquisition of 12 AW 101 VVIP helicopters.
The Ministry of Defence has initiated action for the cancellation of contract for procurement of 12 AW101 helicopters for the use of VVIPs.
The copter scam was unfolded with the arrest of the head of a state-controlled Italian aerospace company.
AgustaWestland, the Italian firm, is presently at the centre of a controversy over allegations of paying kickbacks in the Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal. (ANI)