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CBI to grill businessman over Tatra-Army deal

Last updated on: March 30, 2012 14:54 IST

CBI to grill businessman over Tatra-Army deal

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The Central Bureau of Investigation has called NRI businessman Ravi Rishi, owner of the United Kingdom-based Vectra Group, for questioning in connection with alleged irregularities in the supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks through state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited to the army.

CBI sources said Rishi, who is Delhi, has been called for questioning in connection with alleged irregularities in the deal.

CBI Director A P Singh had examined a report forwarded by one of the joint directors of the agency, who had opined that a case could be made out and a thorough investigation was required, the sources said.

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CBI to grill businessman over Tatra-Army deal

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The deal came under the scanner after Army Chief General V K Singh had alleged that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe to clear a file related to purchase of trucks. The defence ministry has sent a reference to the CBI seeking a probe into the allegations.

However, the agency is waiting for a complaint from General Singh before initiating a probe into his allegations. The sources said based on the reference, two separate cases could be registered by the agency -- one related to the deal and another to the alleged briber offer.

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Image: Army Chief General V K Singh


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CBI to grill businessman over Tatra-Army deal

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On the alleged involvement of agents and lobbyists in placement of orders for the Tatra trucks, state-owned BEML chief V R S Natarajan has said, "In the last 26 years, from 1986 onwards, BEML assembled, manufactured and supplied 7,000 Tatra trucks. All of them have been done on single nomination basis, single inquiry basis.

"Nobody in the world makes this type of equipment, because of its superior technological features. When I am the single vendor and there is no competition, there is no influence required," he said.

The name of Tatra and Bharat Earth Movers Limited was taken by the army in a press release issued by it on March 5, alleging that retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh had offered a bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Limited.

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Image: Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh


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