SC gives previous NDA govt a clean chit in Kargil coffin scam
More than a decade after the Kargil scam dented the image of the NDA government, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) levelling allegations of corruption related to the purchase of materials such as coffins, missiles and munitions.Updated: Oct 13, 2015 00:42 IST
More than a decade after the Kargil scam dented the image of the NDA government, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) levelling allegations of corruption related to the purchase of materials such as coffins, missiles and munitions.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur delivered its order after the CBI informed that it could not establish the guilt of the accused persons in the Rs 24,000-crore scam.
CBI’s counsel R Balasubramanyam submitted the trial court had discharged all the accused despite the agency’s best to gather some evidence against them.
Filed in 2004, the PIL alleged that in the aftermath of the Kargil victory, the NDA government had made several crores of defence material purchases in which politicians, middlemen and several foreign firms made money to the tune of Rs 24,000 crore.
However, the CBI status report stated differently. It said though it had filed the charge sheet against several accused, including former defence minister George Fernandes, the trial court had eventually discharged all the accused in 2013.
While taking the CBI’s report on record, the SC dismissed the PIL.
According to the petitioner PIL, there were large-scale irregularities in the purchase of snow suits, aluminum caskets bought from a US company, thousand terminally-guided munitions from a Russian firm, anti-material rifles from South Africa and Barak missiles from Israel.
The CBI had registered an FIR in 2006 in the Barak missile case against Fernandes. His associate Jaya Jaitly, RK Jain, Sushil Kumar and arms dealer Suresh Nanda were also named as accused.
Nanda had allegedly acted as a middleman in the deal.