'No evidence of kickbacks in Scorpene deal'
The CBI on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that no evidence of payment of kickbacks in the Scorpene submarine deal was found after conducting a preliminary investigation.
No case is made out in the deal. Nothing was found about the Scorpene submarine deal kickbacks, advocate Mukta Gupta contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah.
Submitting the inquiry report in a sealed envelop, Gupta pleaded that in view of findings of the investigation, the PIL seeking a full-fledged inquiry into the deal should be dismissed.
The Bench also comprising Justice Murlidhar, however, said that it would first go through the report before passing any order.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for an NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, sought a full-fledged CBI inquiry in the deal and alleged that CBI has not carried out proper investigation into the case.
The investigating agency conducted the preliminary inquiry on the direction of the court passed on December 20.
The court in its order had restrained the agency from closing the case after conducting the inquiry and had said that the CBI would have to satisfy it that there was no evidence of payment of kickbacks in the deal.
The government finalised the Rs 16,00O crore deal with the French company Thales in October 2005. The petition alleged that there were middlemen involved in the deal which was against the government's policy.
It also alleged that four per cent kickbacks were paid in the deal and the government was trying to protect the middlemen who were influential people.
The petition referred to some e-mail messages and telephonic conversations which allegedly took place between Thales' officials and the middlemen.
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