Govt asked to give consolidated status report on Kargil deals
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Last Updated: Monday, August 24, 2009, 20:57
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to file a consolidated status report on the probe into alleged irregularities in defence deals entered into in the wake of the Kargil conflict, which caused a loss of around Rs 2,000 crore to the exchequer.

The apex court said the consolidated report will also give details about the departmental action taken by the Ministry of Defence against officials involved in alleged irregularities in the deals.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan said the Ministry of Defence will file an affidavit giving details about the appropriate action likely to be taken in 33 cases which were referred to it.

The order was passed after senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who is assisting the court as amicus curaie in the matter, said it is more than one and half years since the order was passed for filing the consolidated report but the Centre has been delaying it.

Dwivedi, who during the last hearing in January this year had accused the Centre of trying to cover up the issue, said government has to tell about the outcome of the departmental inquiry.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said steps have been taken and the Centre had earlier filed a status report in a sealed cover.

Subramanium said 23 cases were earlier referred to the government after CBI had said there was no criminality involved in the deals and later nine more cases were referred to the Ministry of Defence.

He said there were a total of 48 cases.

Dwivedi said neither the Centre nor CBI was giving details about the cases as to how many chargesheets have been filed and against whom.

The Solicitor General sought three weeks to file the status report.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on October 23.

Earlier in February 2008, the court was informed that the Defence Ministry was yet to take action against officials involved in alleged irregularities in defence deals.

The apex court had on August 14, 2006, directed the Ministry to file an affidavit after examining the illegality and irregularities in the deals which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 2,000 crore to the state exchequer.

The CBI had on November 6, 2006, filed two status reports in sealed covers giving details of the progress into the investigation of the deals. The court had sought details about 15 such deals.

The court was earlier informed that CBI had registered a regular case in the casket purchase scam.

While asking CBI to file a status report in the sealed covers, the court had sought details of the six cases regarding which it has registered two preliminary inquiries and decided to make an in-depth inquiry.

The six cases relate to purchase of hand-held thermal imagers, special ammunition for 40mm L-70 gun, aluminium caskets, spares for 155mm gun, Koles tyres and special woollen socks.

CBI initiated a preliminary inquiry into cases relating to purchase of thermally-guided munitions (Krasnapol), bullet-proof jackets, ammunition for T-72 Tanks, ammunition, universal variable time fuses, illuminating ammunition for 155mm guns, multi-purpose boots, charging or generator sets and under-slung cargo nets.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 24, 2009, 20:57

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