The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is all set to summon former defence minister George Fernandes and former Navy chief Sushil Kumar in the controversial Rs 1,150 crore Barak missile deal case during the NDA’s rule in 2000.
Along with Fernandes and Kumar, former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitely, former Samata Party treasurer R K Jain and arms dealer Suresh Nanda are accused in the case registered by the CBI. While the rest have been grilled by the agency, Fernandes and Kumar are still to be questioned. The agency had conducted searches at various places in connection with the case in October 2006.
The contract for seven Barak anti-missile defence systems and 200 missiles was signed on October 23, 2000 with Israel Aircraft Industries Limited despite objections from the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
DRDO held the view that the indigenous Trishul missile system was better suited to the Navy’s requirements.
A sum of Rs 2 crore was allegedly paid to Jaya Jaitely, who functioned from Fernandes’s official residence, by a middleman, while Jain was given gratifications to the tune of several lakhs of rupees. DRDO’s opinion was over-ruled by Fernandes at the behest of the middleman, the CBI had alleged.