Antony says CBI is probing case of Tatra faulty trucks

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 08, 2012 09:51 hrs

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Thursday said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the case of graft after former Chief of Army Staff General (retired) V.K. Singh had alleged that he was offered a 2.8 million dollars bribe to buy a faulty batch of Tatra trucks for the army.

Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) assembles Tatra trucks for the army. Tatra is a Czech company, but several firms are now involved in its subsidiaries, including British-based Vectra.

The federal police Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which carried out raids and also registered a case against retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh after the matter was brought to light by General (retired) Singh.

He told the reporters in New Delhi on Thursday (November 08) that probe in the matter was underway and refused to divulge the details.

According to media reports, the CBI registered a case against Tejinder Singh, after it gathered prima-facie evidence to register a formal case on the complaint of V K Singh.

"You know very well that the entire thing is with the CBI. An enquiry is going on. You better check with the CBI," he said.

Gen. (retired) Singh had alleged that Lt. Gen. (retired) Tejinder Singh had offered him a bribe of 140 million rupees, a matter he had reported to Defence Minister A K Antony, to clear purchase of nearly 600 all-terrain Tatra BEML trucks in September 2010.

Lt. Gen. (retired) Tejinder Singh had refuted the allegations and also slapped a defamation case against Gen Singh.

During the course of the preliminary enquiry, the agency had questioned Tejinder Singh with regards to allegations levelled by V K Singh and his alleged association with arms dealers including Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi.

India's Defence Ministry has put in place strict guidelines for arms deals to crack down on bribery and corruption at a time when Asia's third-largest economy is on a weapons-buying spree to modernise its military.

Meanwhile, Antony said that the violence levels have certainly dropped in India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state, while infiltration has increased.

Recently, Federal Interior Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Chief of Northern Jammu and Kashmir state, Omar Abdullah discussed measures to fence the Line of Control (LOC) with an aim to curb infiltration.

"I can't say in detail. But, only thing I can say is discussions are going on. I agree with the Chief Minister that violence level has come down, but infiltration is not coming down. It is slightly increasing. So, we have to be watchful all the time, we can't make a hasty decision," he said.

The restive region of Kashmir has witnessed numerous militant attacks, insurgency, and infiltration attempts from across the border in the last two decades.

The Himalayan region is one of the world's most militarised zones, with India deploying more than 1.3 million troops to quell the rebellion that triggered off in 1989.

The region broke out in armed rebellion against New Delhi's rule two decades ago. But while militancy has weakened over the years, the tactic of mass street protests and pelting of stones at security personnel have grown. (ANI)

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