HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

CBI records statements of AK Antony, Nair in Tatra case

PTI   New Delhi, May 06, 2014
First Published: 13:27 IST(6/5/2014) | Last Updated: 09:53 IST(7/5/2014)

CBI has recorded statements of defence minister AK Antony and Prime Minister's advisor TKA Nair in a case in which former Army chief Gen VK Singh alleged that a retired senior Army official had offered him a bribe to clear purchase of Tatra trucks from a PSU.

CBI, which has been probing the case for nearly two years now, decided to record the statements of Antony and Nair so that a final decision on whether to close the case or file a charge sheet is taken at the earliest.

"Yes, we recorded the statements of the Defence Minister and former Principal Secretary in the PMO as witnesses in the case," CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said on Tuesday when asked if they had been questioned.

The former Army Chief had alleged that Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh had offered him a Rs. 14 crore bribe to clear an order of over 1,600 Tatra trucks to be supplied by Public Sector Undertaking BEML.

The retired Lt Gen has denied Singh's allegation.

The defence ministry had ordered a CBI inquiry to probe the charges levelled by the former Army Chief after which a case was registered in October 2012.

The former Army Chief, who is now contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Ghaziabad on a BJP ticket, had said in his complaint that he had informed the defence minister after the purported bribe offer was made by the retired Lt Gen on September 22, 2010.

Nair was questioned by CBI as the former Army chief had alleged that he was opposed to scrapping the Tatra deal, CBI said.

The audio tapes, supposed to be having a recording of the purported conversation between the former Army Chief and Lt Gen Singh, were of no use as only noise was heard in them, it said.

Attempts to retrieve any voice through forensic means did not yield any results, it said. The tapes were submitted to CBI by Gen Singh.

CBI has looked into links between Lt Gen Singh and the Tatra owner but have not been able to establish any substantial lead, CBI said.

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