CBI books three Army officials in coffin scam
The agency filed a criminal case against the then military attache in the Indian Embassy in the US.india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 20:39 IST
CBI has registered a case in the "coffin scam" during the tenure of George Fernandes as Defence Minister against three senior army officials and a US-based funeral service company for allegedly supplying poor quality aluminium caskets at "exorbitant rates" after the Kargil war.
The agency filed a criminal case against the then military attache in the Indian Embassy in the US, retired Major General Arun Roye, Director of Master General Ordnance (MGO), Col SK Malik, and Joint Director MGO, Col Fateh Bahadur Singh and the American vendor Buritrol and Baiza, the CBI sources said.
The coffin scam, which rocked the nation during the Kargil war when body bags were used to bring back bodies of soldiers killed during the conflict, had come under the scanner of Comptroller and Auditor General who had found lot of flaws in the procurement of caskets.
The UPA Government then referred a number of defence deals entered during the NDA regime to CBI on the basis of objections raised by the CAG.
At the height of controversy, Fernandes had given clean chit to the procurement process for purchasing of coffins for the soldiers killed during the Kargil war.
However, the agency said it has found several procedural lapses in the purchase of the coffins and body bags and booked these officials under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act for alleged abuse of official position for personal gains.