The government suspended the passport of Suresh Nanda, alleged to have received kickbacks in defence deals, on Wednesday. This was done following a request made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Nanda, son of Admiral (retd.) SM Nanda, was grilled for over two hours at the CBI headquarters on his role in the Barak Missile deal case. Senior CBI officials remained tightlipped on their future course action. They, however, did not rule out his arrest in the case.
“Considering the gravity of allegations against Nanda, his passport was suspended by the Ministry of External Affairs under section 10 (A) of The Passport Act. All passport authorities, immigration check points in India and Indian missions abroad as well as other concerned authorities have been alerted in this regard,” a senior CBI official said.
Nanda’s role in the purchase of Barak Anti-Missile Systems and Armoured Recovery Vehicle is under investigation by the CBI.
Nanda’s name was mentioned in the FIR filed by the agency in the Barak deal for allegedly having paid Rs 2 crore to former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley at former Defence Minister George Fernande’s house to get government’s nod on a contract for seven Barak Anti-Missile (AMD) Systems and 200 missiles from Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd (IAI).
Nanda’s passport was seized during searches at his residence on October 10, 2006 and was retained with the permission of Special Judge, New Delhi for purpose of investigation, the CBI said. Nanda was permitted by the trial court to travel abroad in January 2007. The CBI approached the Delhi High Court, which upheld its view.
Nanda moved the Supreme Court and SC on January 24 asked the CBI to release his passport within a week as the agency had not taken permission for retaining it under the Passport Act.