IAS couple who helped Vectra boss under CBI lens

Last Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 12:20

New Delhi: The CBI is investigating the alleged association of Vectra chairman Ravinder Rishi with some bureaucrats and has approached the Income Tax department seeking details of its probe against a tainted IAS couple, suspected to be beneficiaries of his largesse.

The CBI is suspecting that the suspended power couple of Madhya Pradesh, under the I-T department`s probe for amassing illicit wealth, are among many officers who have allegedly facilitated Rishi`s dealings in the defence sector, agency sources said.

The couple`s proximity with Rishi is said to have developed when one of them was posted as Joint Secretary at the Defence Ministry during 1999-2004, when Vectra group signed defence deals related to supply of light helicopters, they said.

The agency has found that the couple still has close connections with Rishi and some of their funds are parked with him, they said.

The I-T department had conducted searches in Bhopal and other premises of the couple during the financial year 2009-10 and after scrutiny of their financial holdings and assets, a tax demand notice of Rs 135 crore had been issued against them.

During its searches, the I-T department recovered a diary with an entry `RR`, against which Rs 2.5 crore was listed, but the sources of this entry could not be deciphered at that time.

CBI sources said the agency has written to the I-T department seeking details of its findings on the couple`s financial transactions and details of their bank account.

They said the couple had contacts with Ravi even after being transferred out of the ministry.

The agency sources, however, made it clear that anything concrete can be said about their involvement with Rishi only after getting details of their financial transactions.

57-year-old British national Rishi, named as an accused in CBI`s FIR in alleged irregularities in purchase of Tatra trucks, has now been quizzed at least nine times at the CBI headquarters here.

The agency registered a case against Rishi and unnamed officials of the Defence Ministry, Army and BEML on March 30 for alleged criminal conspiracy and cheating under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CBI is probing alleged irregularities in assigning supply of trucks from erstwhile Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to Tatra-Sipox in UK, owned by Rishi, in 1997, showing it as the original equipment manufacturer and the fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company, they said.

A CBI spokesperson had said this was against the provisions of Defence Procurement Procedure for supplying vehicles to Indian Army on the basis of the orders placed by the Ministry.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 11:32

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