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'No middlemen in Scorpene deal'

Govt had signed integrity pacts with French firms that prohibited involvement of middlemen, Pranab Mukherjee said.
None | By Indo-Asian News Service, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 20, 2006 07:59 PM IST

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday denied any middlemen were involved in the multi-billion dollar Scorpene deal.

He further said he would make a comprehensive statement in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

Mukherjee dismissed allegations by NDA that the government had not responded to the allegations that middlemen were involved in the Scorpene deal signed with French firms last year.

Mukherjee was speaking on the sidelines of a function organised by the Air Force Association in New Delhi.

He said the government had signed integrity pacts with the French firms that prohibited the involvement of middlemen.

"If there is any deployment of middlemen, not only will the contract be cancelled but there will also be heavy penalties," he said.

Referring to reports that a leak of classified information from the Navy's war room had benefited commercial firms involved in the Scorpene deal, Mukherjee said the matter "had been referred to the CBI for investigation".

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