Shashindra Pal Tyagi

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Shashindra Pal Tyagi
Born (1945-03-14) March 14, 1945 (age 76)
Indore, Madhya Pradesh
AllegianceIndia India
Service/branch Indian Air Force
Years of service31 December 1963 – 2007
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldCentral Air Command
South Western Air Command
Western Air Command
Indian Air Force
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi, more commonly known as 'S P Tyagi,' served as the 20th Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force and served from 31 December 2004 to 31 March 2007. He was succeeded by Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.


Tyagi was briefly named in an Italian Investigation into bribes paid to secure a Helicopter Contract, although further information created doubts in the matter.[1] As per the unverified testimony of an Italian businessman, he received illegal payments to change the technical specifications of the helicopters which favored AgustaWestland which was finally awarded the deal. However, further investigation showed that the technical specifications were changed prior to his tenure on the orders of Brajesh Mishra, the National Security Adviser, in the Prime Minister's office (PMO).[2][3] According to the investigators, 21 million euros (about Rs 150 crore) were paid as kickbacks under the cover of engineering contracts reportedly through companies IDS Tunisia and IDS India.[4] A businessman named Sanjeev 'Julie' Tyagi, a close relative of S P Tyagi, one of the key suspects in the VVIP helicopter scandal, has denied reports filed in an Italian court, saying he had nothing to do with the 2010 defence deal.[5] Detailed government documents revealed that the decision taken to change the technical specification were suggested and agreed upon by stake holders from multiple government agencies, including the Prime Minister's Office, the Special Protection Group (SPG), and others.[6][7]

In April 2016, an Italian court said there was "reasonable belief that corruption took place" in the 2010 VVIP helicopter deal and that former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi was involved. Following necessary investigations, Tyagi was arrested by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation on 9 December 2016.[8][9]

In December 2016, Italy's Highest Court ordered a retrial of the case. In January 2018, the Italian courts said there was "insufficient proof that any bribery took place" and acquitted Giussepe Orsi (ex CEO) and Bruno Spagnolini (head of helicopter division) of all charges. [10]


  1. ^ " CNN-News18 Breaking News India, Latest News Headlines, Live News Updates". News18.
  2. ^ "Chopper deal: why NDA's Brajesh Mishra had ordered changes in technical specs".
  3. ^ "Jaswant defends Tyagi". 14 February 2013 – via
  4. ^ "Chopper scam: Ex-air chief SP Tyagi used to brief us on tender developments, claim middlemen - Times of India".
  5. ^ "I am being raped on a daily basis: Sanjeev 'Julie' Tyagi - Times of India".
  6. ^ "'Former Air Chief SP Tyagi did not clear VVIP chopper deal alone'".
  7. ^ "Flying too high".
  8. ^ "Corruption took place in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, former IAF chief SP Tyagi was involved.  : Italian court". The Economic Times. Benette, Coleman & Co. Limited. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "CBI arrests former air force chief SP Tyagi in bribery probe". Reuters. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Italy Court Acquits Former AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica Top Managers in Corruption Case - The Wire". The Wire.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Arun Prakash
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
Succeeded by
Joginder Jaswant Singh
Preceded by
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy
Chief of Air Staff
31 December 2004 – 31 March 2007
Succeeded by
Fali Homi Major