A Delhi court has accepted a CBI plea to close a corruption case against an aide of former defence minister George Fernades and others for alleged delivery of kickbacks by an Israeli firm to an Indian arms broker for securing an army contract.
Allowing the closure of the case against Fernandes' erstwhile Samata Party's national treasurer RK Jain and some unknown defence ministry and army officials, special CBI judge Talwant Singh, however, asked enforcement directorate to probe the alleged receipt of commission by Indian arms dealer Sudhir Choudhrie from Israeli firm M/s Soltam.
The case had been registered on the basis of news portal tehelka.com's 2001 sting Operation Westend, which had purportedly caught Jain on camera speaking about his role along with that of Choudhrie in helping Soltam secure the contract from army in March 2000 to upgrade its 130mm field guns for a USD 1,56,940 kickback.
"I have gone through the statement of witnesses and documents collected during investigation. On the basis of above, I am in agreement with the CBI that no malafide can be attributed to any official of the army headquarters or the Ministry of Defence on basis of evidence collected during investigation and accordingly no case is made out under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act," the court said.
"Hence closure report is accepted," the CBI judge added.