Tatra scam: CBI questions Vectra group chief
CBI has questioned Ravi Rishi, owner of UK-based Vectra group, in connection with the alleged irregularities in supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks.
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has questioned Ravi Rishi, owner of UK-based Vectra group, in connection with the alleged irregularities in supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks through state-owned BEML to the Army.
This is the second time Ravi was questioned by the CBI in the case.
The agency has also issued a restraint order to prevent London-based NRI businessman from moving out of the country.
The CBI has confiscated his passport and alerted all airports and exit points to ensure that he does not leave the country, official sources said.
Rishi was here in the national capital to participate in the defence expo.
CBI director AP Singh had examined a report forwarded by one of the joint directors of the agency who had opined that a case could be made out and a thorough investigation was required, sources in the CBI said.
The deal came under scanner after Army chief General VK Singh had alleged that he was offered a Rs. 14 crore bribe to clear a file related to purchase of trucks.
The Defence Ministry has sent a reference to the CBI seeking a probe in the allegations. However, the agency is waiting for a complaint from Gen Singh before initiating a probe into his allegations.
The sources said based on the reference, two separate cases could be registered by the agency -- one related to the deal and another to the alleged briber offer.
On the alleged involvement of agents and lobbyists in placement of orders for the Tatra trucks, state-owned BEML chief VRS Natarajan has said, "In last 26 years, from 1986 onwards, BEML assembled manufactured, supplied 7,000 Tatra trucks. All of them have been done on single nomination basis, single inquiry basis.``
"This type of equipment nobody in world makes, because of its superior technological features. When I am the single vendor and there is no competition, there is no influence required," he said.
The name of Tatra and Bharat Earth Movers Limited was taken by the Army in a press release issued by it on March 5, alleging that retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh had offered a bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Limited.