In a formal communication to the CBI on Friday, army chief general VK Singh confirmed that he was offered bribe by Lt Gen Tejinder Singh but refrained from specifying the amount. General Singh said he will give more details soon.
But even before the army chief's formal communication on bribe offer reached at the CBI late in the evening, the probe agency put under scrutiny the whole procurement of Tatra trucks through state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) by lodging an FIR in the matter and raiding four places in Delhi and Bangalore. The agency is probing Tatra truck procurement from 1997 onwards now.
Sources said the defence procurement guidelines state that all purchases should be made only from the original equipment manufacturer but it is alleged that the procurement of Tatra trucks by the BEML was routed through a Vectra group owned by Ravi Rishi who is based in the UK.
Rishi, who is here to participate in the Defence Expo, was questioned by investigators in the agency headqurters. He has been named as an accused. Besides Rishi, BEML and unknown BEML and defence offcials have been named as accused in the matter.
"So far our probe is into the procurement of Tatra trucks by the army. Investigators are yet to make up their mind whether the probe into the allegation by the army chief general VK Singh will be part of this FIR or not.
A decision will be taken only after an examination of full formal communication of the army chief detailing sequence of events leading up to the alleged bribe offer," said an agency official.
Sources said the army chief has confirmed the bribe offer from Lt Gen Tejinder Singh. Sources also said the agency was not pursuing any probe against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag. Gen VK Singh had forwarded a complaint against Suhag to the CBI.