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Fernandes to meet Chief Vigilance Commissioner
R Prema in New Delhi | June 27, 2003 02:20 IST
Defence Minister George Fernandes has agreed to meet Chief Vigilance Commissioner P Shankar on Tuesday in South Block to discuss about the need for transparency in purchases by the army.
This is the first time such a meeting between the defence minister and the CVC is being held and it is interpreted as the result of the Tehelkha exposŤ.
Shankar is said have made it clear that apart from the Defence Secretary Subir Dutta, the three armed services should be represented or else the meeting will not take place.
Shankar also wants his two deputies -- H J Dora, former deputy general of police of Andhra Pradesh, and Janaki Ballab, former chairman of the State Bank of India†-- to be present.
Sources in the CVC's office said Shankar has fixed up a meeting with Fernandes point out the rampant corruption in the Military Engineering Services, which has not been under any sort of scrutiny for the past five decades.
Shankar said the MES was spending hundreds of millions in military constructions, which were not being accounted for and after discussions with the senior MES officers and CVC member H J Dora, a former Andhra Pradesh police chief, has decided there will be some sort of scrutiny.
Shankar said both civilian and uniformed MES services will come under his purview, although the chiefs of the three armed forces will still have a say in the functioning of the MES.
Shankar's plans to keep the civilians under the purview of the CVC, conduct inquiries every year and send the recommendations to the respective chiefs of the defence forces.
He would, in fact, prefer even the uniformed MES men to come under the CVC scrutiny, though they are presently open to court-martial in case of complaints.
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