Tatra truck case: CBI questions BEML Chief | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Tatra truck case: CBI questions BEML Chief

delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2012 22:22 IST

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The CBI for the first time questioned Defence PSU BEML Chairman VRS Natarajan on Tuesday in connection with alleged irregularities in procurement and supply of Tatra all-terrain trucks to the Army.


Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi and former Bharat Earth Movers Limited(BEML) Director (Defence Procurement) V Mohan were also quizzed by the agency sleuths for nearly five hours about the deal and supply of trucks, CBI sources said.

They were grilled on common issues regarding the procurement and supply of the Tatra all-terrain trucks and their responses were recorded.

The CBI has asked the three persons to appear again tomorrow for questioning, they said.

Mohan, who was the Director, Defence Procurement from 2007 to 2011, has been asked to provide some documents regarding the procurement of components from Tatra Sipox UK owned by Rishi, they said.

British national Rishi was questioned for the eighth time during last fortnight. He has refuted allegations of any wrong doing in the supply of truck components which were assembled by the BEML to be supplied to army.

CBI has registered a case naming Rishi and unnamed officials of defence ministry, Army and BEML on March 30 for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and also under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Natarajan has refuted the alleged involvement of agents and lobbyists in placement of orders for the Tatra all-terrain trucks.

"In last 26 years, from 1986 onwards BEML assembled manufactured, supplied 7,000 Tatra trucks. All of them have been done on single nomination basis, single inquiry basis".

"This type of equipment no body in world makes, because of its superior technological features. When I am the single vendor and there is no competition, there is no influence required," he had said.

CBI is probing alleged irregularities in assigning of supply from Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to the Tatra-Sipox UK owned by Rishi in 1997 showing it as original equipment manufacturer and the fully-owned subsidiary of Czech company which was against the provisions of Defence Procurement Procedure, sources said.

"In continuation of the aforesaid conspiracy to cause undue benefit to the UK-based company, the unknown officials of the Defence PSU allowed change of currency from US Dollar to Euro and further by not levying the Liquidated damages, thereby causing further loss of Rs 13.27 crores," the CBI spokesperon had said.

Rishi had termed the allegations against him as unfortunate, saying the trucks were sold through public sector undertaking BEML.

He also said the charges levelled with regard to Tatra trucks by Army Chief Gen VK Singh that they were "sub-standard" and that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to clear the deal of 600 such trucks were baseless.

Natarajan has also refuted the alleged involvement of agents and lobbyists in placement of orders for the Tatra all-terrain trucks.

"In last 26 years, from 1986 onwards BEML assembled manufactured, supplied 7,000 Tatra trucks. All of them have been done on single nomination basis, single inquiry basis".

"This type of equipment no body in world makes, because of its superior technological features. When I am the single vendor and there is no competition, there is no influence required," he had said.