CBI seeks views of Def Min on filing OSA case against Verma
New Delhi: CBI has sent documents received from a US-based estranged business associate of defence supplier Abhishek Verma to the Defence Ministry seeking its opinion on their veracity and whether their possession constitutes violation of Official Secrets Act (OSA).
CBI sources said any action under OSA can only be initiated after examining the genuineness and confidential nature of the documents which is the domain of the Ministry.
US-based attorney C Edmond Allen, who was a business associate of Verma, has provided sets of documents which deal with aquisition and future plans of the defence forces to CBI and other investigating agencies.
Allen and Verma have been engaged in litigations over alleged souring of business relations. Verma had filed a case against Allen accusing him of cheating him of Rs 55 crore and forging documents to defame him. A litigation between the two is going on in the US as well.
On the other hand, Allen had sent complaints of alleged money laundering and other related crimes against Verma to various investigating agencies of India as well as the US.
CBI sources said reply of the Defence Ministry is still awaited and the agency will register a case under OSA if the Ministry decides to file a complaint.
Two documents which CBI is suspicious about are the Krishnamurthy report on the construction of new generation submarines and those relating to ties of Verma`s alleged front company Ganton with a reputed helicopter manufacturer.
"Even on these two documents we cannot file any case, unless Defence Ministry or any of the authority concerned gives a complaint under OSA," a source said.
CBI has booked Verma and his wife Ancea Neascu for allegedly taking USD 5.30 lakh from Swiss firm Rheinmetall Air Defence AG for using his "influence" to stall the blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government against it after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced. Both are currently in judicial custody.
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