Purchase of bomb suits: FIR logged against firm

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 23:46

Mumbai: Over a month after the probe conducted
by the Maharashtra police into alleged irregularities in the
purchase of bomb suits from a private firm, an FIR was on Tuesday
registered against three directors of the firm, police said.

"Bimal Agarwal, director of Techno Trade Impex India Pvt
Ltd, and two other directors of the firm were booked on
charges of cheating and forgery in connection with alleged
irregularities in purchase of the bomb suits for Rs 6 crore,"
an official from Economic Offence Wing of city police said.

The contract amount for the purchase of 80 suits from
Techno Trade Impex was paid a year earlier even as the
delivery of the goods was made in 2010. The state government
had rejected the suits for being of "inferior quality".

An internal probe conducted by the Maharashtra police
in the matter had found that norms were violated in the
process and a government official, a senior police official
and the importer of the suits, Agarwal, came under the scanner
for their alleged act of commission.

The state police in January 2009 had floated the tender
for purchase of the suits post the 26/11 terror attacks.

The bid was won by Techno Trade Impex and an order for 80
suits was placed. In June 2009, an advance of Rs 6 crore was
paid to the firm towards the purchase.

However, when the suits were supplied in 2010, the
government rejected them for not being in conformity with
quality standards.

Agarwal then moved the Bombay High Court in March,2010
challenging the state government`s decision.

Former principal secretary (home) PK Jain, in an
affidavit filed before the court, claimed that Techno Trade
acquired 36 bomb suits from South Africa and the remaining
from China.

It was alleged that the protective gear imported from
China was cheaper and of a low quality as compared to those
imported from South Africa. The matter is still pending in the
court.

Meanwhile, when senior police officials from the DGP`s
office were unable to explain the reasons for advance payment
made towards the purchase of suits, the government ordered an
internal probe.

The 26/11 terror attack had exposed chinks in the
armour of Mumbai police in context of handling urban terrorism
involving sophisticated arms and ammunition.

Maharashtra government as part of the modernisation
plan for its police force decided to provide better arms,
equipment and protective gear such as better quality bomb
suits and bulletproof jackets for the personnel.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 23:46

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