Ordnance scam: European def firm denies charges

New Delhi; Over two weeks after it was blacklisted by the government, defence major Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) on Friday rejected allegations of its involvement in any scam saying Indian authorities have not yet given them the details of the charges against them.

Zurich-based Rheinmetall Air Defence along with Israeli IMI, Corporation Defence of Russia and Singapore Technologies Kinetics and two Indian firms were blacklisted by the government on March 5 for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore ordnance factory scam and debarred for further business dealings for 10 years.

"RAD of Switzerland objects to the decision of Indian Defence Ministry announcement on March 5, 2012 to exclude it from doing business with India's Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

This decision was based on allegations against RAD which the company categorically rejects as false and as entirely without merit," the company said in a release.

"Indian authorities are yet to inform RAD of the details of these allegations. Transparency with regard to investigations would enable RAD to put forward conclusive evidence that will refute all claims made against it," it added.

The company said it is "keen to cooperate with India's authorities and to assist in any investigation related to the company".

India had taken action against these companies after CBI moved a charge sheet relating to illegal gratification against former Director General of Ordnance Factories, Sudipta Ghosh and others.

The Defence Ministry had issued a statement saying that these firms were issued notice to showcase as to why action against them should not be taken.

"It has been decided to debar" all these firms from further business dealings with the Ordnance Factory Board, Department of Defence Production and the Defence Ministry for a period of 10 years," the statement said.