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Illegal sale of weapons: SC seeks Centre, Raj govt's report

July 24, 2012 19:07 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought from the Centre and the Rajasthan government their reports on latest status of probe into the alleged illegal sale of Army weapons meant for personal use by its personnel and issuance of licences for it to dubious persons.

A bench of justices S S Nijjar and H L Gokhale said the report would be in compliance with its earlier order for probe against the government officials for their alleged involvement in the scam and slated the matter for further hearing next week.

For their personal use, the Army personnel are issued weapons, known as non-service pattern weapons, from ordnance depots.

The court's order came during hearing of a PIL seeking direction to the government for taking action against its officers after the NSP weapon scam came to light in 2007 when authorities in Rajasthan's Ganganagar district noticed that several licenses were issued to dubious persons, including terrorists, smugglers and rowdy elements by local authorities without verification.

Subsequent probe by the government revealed a larger racket in which several Army officers, including the ones of major general rank, along with IAS and the Rajasthan civil service officers too were found involved in the sale of NSP arms to dubious elements.

In its report submitted earlier, the state government had said that there were around 284 beneficiaries in the scam and they were being interrogated.

The defence ministry had also told the court that it has decided to review the procedures for issuing NSP weapons to army personnel after finding that they were illegally sold to unscrupulous elements.

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