At least six top officials of state-owned telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd helped a Chinese firm win a multi-crore contract, according to a confidential report given by top security agencies to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The PMO forwarded the report to the Central Vigilance Commission, a watchdog for corruption in the bureaucracy, which has instructed the CBI to go deeper into the deal.
<b1>The contract was worth Rs 30,000 crore for building 93 million-line mobile network all over the country for the BSNL.
Despite objections from the country’s premier intelligence agencies — the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing — BSNL stayed the course with Chinese company Huawei, giving it all of south India — 25 million-mobile lines. The rest went to the Euro-pean telecom giant Ericsson.
BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal said: “We have not come across any allegation, so how can I comment on it?”
An official spokesperson of Huawei declined to comment. The tender was floated in 2008 and the contract was awarded to Huawei in 2009.
Intelligence agencies feared that the Chinese firm might rig the network. And by December they had whipped up enough concern for red flags to go up all over the government.
Last month, BSNL killed the contract after a committee headed by Sam Pitroda, advisor to the PM, asked it to do so. But the government is keen to establish the role of the six officials.
“The charges against the officials are very serious. Since there was credible evidence, CVC asked the CBI to probe the matter,” said a CVC source.