Bomb suits case: EOW to look into role of government officials



Mumbai: Extending its probe into the supply of inferior quality bomb suits to Maharashtra Police by Techno Trade Impex director Bimal Agarwal, who was arrested on Monday, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) now wants to find out if any government officials were also involved in the fraud.

Agarwal, who was held on charges of cheating and forgery in supply of the ensemble, was on Tuesday remanded in police custody till August 17 by a magistrate's court on prosecution's request for conducting further investigations.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police had registered a case against Agarwal and his firm on May 13.

A sessions court yesterday rejected Agarwal's anticipatory bail application claiming that he was being falsely implicated in the case at the behest of senior IPS officer PK Jain.

Post 26/11, the state police had floated a tender in January 2009 for the purchase of bomb suits as most of the protective gear used by various bomb detection and disposal squads (BDDS) units was outdated.

The bid was won by Techno Trade Impex India Pvt Ltd and an order for 80 suits was placed. In June 2009, the government paid about Rs six crore to the firm in advance.

However, when the suits were supplied in 2010, the government rejected them for not being in conformity with quality standards.

Agarwal then moved the Bombay High Court in March, 2010 challenging the state government's decision.

Former principal secretary (Home) PK Jain, in an affidavit filed before the court, had claimed that Techno Trade acquired 36 bomb suits from South Africa and the remaining from China. It was alleged that the protective gear imported from China was cheaper and of low quality, as compared to those imported from South Africa.

The 26/11 terror attack had exposed chinks in the armour of Mumbai Police in handling urban terrorism, involving sophisticated arms and ammunition. Equipping police with the suits was one of the many measures proposed by the state government under its modernisation plan.

PTI