Def Ministry probing leak of Howitzers` field trial report
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 22:18
New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has launched an inquiry after receiving an anonymous envelope containing four pages of leaked draft field trial report of 145 M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers to be procured for the army, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "An inquiry on this matter is under way.... Four pages of draft field trial report have been received in an anonymous envelope by the Army Headquarters."

The Army's plans to acquire its first artillery gun in nearly two and half decades after the Bofors scam and the guns are being procured from the US through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

On steps taken by government to prevent such incidents, he said, "Detailed instructions exist on security of classified documents. Aberrations, if any, are dealt with as per the relevant rules."

The Court of Inquiry (CoI) under a three-star officer is underway and will fix responsibilities as to how and from where the trial report leaked and who were the officers responsible for it.

Meanwhile, replying to another question on the missing secret file on Medium-Multi Role Fighter Aircraft (M-MRCA) deal, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju denied that any sensitive information was compromised in the incident.

"The file did not contain any information which was sensitive. It contained requests of some companies with regard to offset," he informed the House.

He said that a file relating to request of vendors regarding offset was accidentally dropped by an officer in Asiad Village where he was residing, at 2000 hours on December 21, 2010.

"An inquiry was conducted by the Ministry into the incident and officers responsible have been cautioned in writing," Antony told the House.


First Published: Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 22:18

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