Sreedharan rubbishes charges of bribery in contract allotment

Former DMRC chief E Sreedharan on Tuesday trashed reports that some its officials or agents either received or agreed to receive bribes from train and turbine giant Alstom, saying tender scrutinising process is very strict and cannot be influenced by bribing.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 07, 2014, 23:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Former DMRC chief E Sreedharan on Tuesday trashed reports that some its officials or agents either received or agreed to receive bribes from train and turbine giant Alstom, saying tender scrutinising process is very strict and cannot be influenced by bribing.

"DMRC has a very structured and transparent procedure for finalising all contracts," he said.

Describing the tender process in detail, the 82-year old former DMRC chairman rejected allegations of bribery.

"From the above it will be seen there are very many tiers, individuals and agencies involved and the decision cannot be influenced by bribing one or two individuals.

"The story does not therefore hold water. If at all bribe has been paid, it must have been to individuals outside DMRC with a view to siphon back the amount to individuals of Alstom network, UK," Sreedharan said.

During the year 2000-2006, DMRC had a team of General Consultants headed by PCI (Pacific Consultants International) of Japan to assist us in all areas.

The tender papers were prepared by them, tenders received and processed by them and sent to DMRC for acceptance. Tenders are generally considered in two stages.

First there is a pre-qualification of intending tenderers. The General Consultants process the pre-qualification papers and send their recommendations to DMRC.

DMRC has then an appraisal Committee consisting of HODs who scrutinise these recommendations and put up to a tender committee consisting of Directors. The tender committee puts up their recommendations to the MD and after his acceptance papers are sent to JICA, the lending agency, for scrutiny and clearance.

The next stage is invitation of financial bids from the pre-qualified tenderers. The same process and procedure is followed while evaluating the financial bids and the same is again sent to JICA for scrutiny and clearances.

"DMRC also has a strict policy of not allowing any intermediaries to our office. Tenderers are not allowed to communicate or get in touch with any DMRC officials during tender finalisation. These are part of our tender conditions," he said.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has issued legal

proceedings against Alstom Network UK Limited on bribery charges in India, Poland and Tunisia.

The fraud investigator believes the firm may have paid around USD 8.5 million in bribes over a period of six years to secure contracts in Delhi, Warsaw and Tunis.

At a preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, Robert Hallett, former managing director of Alstom Transport India, was among some of the company officials requisitioned to appear before the court in reference to the allegations.

The detailed charge in reference to the DMRC states that Alstom Network UK Limited together with certain of its directors and others between the August 1, 2000 and August 9, 2006 corruptly gave or agreed to give payments to an official or officials or other agents of DMRC.

A sum of Rs 19,895,000 disguised as inducements or rewards for showing favour to the Alstom Group was given.