The Central Bureau of Investigation is planning to approach Czech-based Tatra a.s to ascertain the reasons for supplying older technology based all-terrain vehicles to Bharat Earth Movers even though it has better versions available.
Although the CBI has decided to send the query through Letters Rogatory (Letters of Request), the agency is also planning to send a team to Czech Republic to meet the executives of the company in this regard, sources in the agency said.
This is the first time the CBI will be approaching Original Equipment Manufacturer Tatra a.s in connection with the all terrain vehicle supply case even as it had questioned Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi and BEML officials repeatedly.
The CBI sources said no irregularity has surfaced on the part of Tatra a.s so far and neither the company is an accused in the case so there are no reasons to not cooperate in the probe.
The sources said despite clause of indigenisation and upgradation of technology in the original agreement signed with Tatra, the indigenisation process remained way behind satisfactory levels.
They said the trucks which are now assembled by BEML and supplied to the Indian Army have not performed well in higher ltitude and despite red flags raised by army several times, the PSU continued supplying older technology vehicles.
CBI sources said DRDO also procured vehicles from Tatra for its missile systems which fared much better than those procured by the Army through BEML.
The agency is probing alleged irregularities in assigning supply from the Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to the Tatra-Sipox UK owned by Rishi in 1997 showing it as Original Equipment Manufacturer and the fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company which was against rules, they said.