The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun a criminal misconduct probe against a senior scientist who was part of a team involved in the development of India’s indigenous main battle tank Arjun, for allegedly seeking and accepting Rs 1.5 lakh from a machinery supplier.
The agency has lodged a Preliminary Enquiry (PE), according to which the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) scientist allegedly took the money in September 2012 from the consultant of a private firm supplying a tank component — steel track links— to approve its quality after its inspection by him, said a CBI source.
“The firm had bagged the supply order from the Defence Ordinance Factory for developing assembly-forged steel track links. After the product was ready, the scientist was called for inspection,” said the source. The scientist allegedly asked for a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh to “give a satisfactory report”. The source said, “The scientist accepted the bribe, which amounted to criminal misconduct.”
On being contacted, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s spokesperson Ravi Gupta said, “ Let the law take its own course. Let the truth come out.”