CBI to question defence ministry officials
New Delhi: After BEML and Tatra Sipox officials, the CBI is now planning to quiz Defence Ministry officials in connection with alleged irregularities in the Tatra all-terrain vehicle deal.
CBI sources said names of at least six Defence Ministry officials have been finalised who could be quizzed next week in connection with the alleged violation of Defence Procurement Rules in the Tatra truck deal between Tatra Sipox UK and public sector undertaking BEML.
Meanwhile, the agency today questioned Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi, who is the prime accused, and some of his associates in connection with the deal, they said.
Rishi had refuted allegations of any wrong doing.
The agency is also planning to hold another round of questioning with BEML CMD V R S Natarajan in connection with the case as sources said his responses were not convincing.
The CBI, meanwhile, has made it clear that besides Rishi, none of the persons questioned by it is accused in the case and the quizzing is just to clarify facts of the case.
The CBI has alleged that Tatra Sipox UK signed the deal violating defence procurement rules which say that procurement should be done directly from original equipment manufacturer only.
After the division of Czechoslovakia, BEML had entered into deal with Tatra Sipox UK in 1997 which had allegedly nothing to do with Czech Republic based Tatra a.S or Slovakia based Tatra Sipox AS, they said.
This contract was renewed in 2003, four years ahead of scheduled renewal of 1997 contract with Tatra Sipox UK, the sources said.
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