Arun Jaitley
AugustaWestland Scam: Jaitley denies any deal with Italian govt. Picture: Finance Minister Arun JaitleyReuters

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley refuted a media report that claimed the government struck a deal with the Italian government to free two Italian marines in exchange for confidential information on the Gandhi family regarding the AugustaWestland chopper scam. 

The finance minister said the investigation in the chopper bribery case is in advanced stage, according to IANS.

Earlier, an Indian daily reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi struck an agreement to free the Italian marines accused of killing fishermen in Indian waters in return for information with regard to the chopper scam.

"Modi offered to free marines for information on Gandhi family," leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said quoting a report from a newspaper.

The senior Congressman also added that his government had blacklisted AugustaWestland and called the deal an outcome of "corrupt practice." He said the deal was immediately ordered to be probed by multi-agencies and cancelled with immediate effect then.

"Government of India through court got the entire bank guarantee money back. We recovered the total advance money. Three helicopters had already come so we did not give them back," Azad said.

Jaitley, however, added that the report of the meeting between the two leaders was completely false. "Let me categorically say report in newspaper cited by leader of opposition is false and untrue in its entirety. There was no such meeting," he said.

The minister added that such a newspaper report in actuality does not exist and the opposition was using an unidentified source as possible counter argument in vain.