The CBI has recommended the blacklisting of six defence companies in a corruption case and the matter has been forwarded to the Central Vigilance Commission for its advice, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
"CBI has recommended blacklisting of six firms involved in the payment of illegal gratification. The case has been referred to CVC for advice," Defence Minister AK Antony said in reply to a query.
The foreign firms are: Singapore Technology Kinetics, Israeli Military Industries, Rheinmetall Air Defence and Corporation Defence Russia and the Indian firms are T S Kissan and Company and RK Machine Tools.
The Ministry added that a decision in this regard would be taken after receiving the CVC's advice and consultation with the Law Ministry.
The CBI had registered a case against Sudipto Ghosh, former (DG) Ordnance Factory Board and some others regarding receipt of illegal gratification from various suppliers of ordnance factories before a special court in Kolkata in May last year.
To another query, Antony said a contract for procuring of 12 AW-101 helicopters was signed with European chopper manufacturers Agusta Westland Limited February this year.
"The cost of the project is Rs 3,546.17 crore and out of these 12 helicopters, eight would be configured for VVIP transportation and four helicopters would be the non-VVIP version," Antony said.
The choppers have been procured to replace the ageing Russian-origin Mi-8 helicopters, which are nearing completion of its technical life.
"There were no objections raised by the Ministry of Finance relating to any security concerns raised by the Special Protection Group (SPG) or the Indian Air Force," the Minister added.
He said that a global tender was issued and a multi-vendor procurement procedure followed as per the then existing Defence Procurement Procedure.
Replying to another question, the Minister said in view of the increased threat perception in counter-terrorist operations, the General Staff Qualitative Requirements for bullet-proof jackets in the Army was reviewed.
He added that there were sufficient jackets in the Army for meeting its operational requirements.