BEML chief demands V K Singh apology

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 01, 2012 08:05 hrs

Bangalore, June 1 (IBNS) A day after his retirement, former Army chief V K Singh was attacked by the state-run BEML which it had accused of offering bribe to accept substandard vehicles.

Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) chairman and managing director V RS Natarajan held a press conference to target the former Army chief and said they would sue him for the defamatory charges.

The allegations were false and we have nothing to hide, he said, adding that the retired Army Chief must apologize since he has damaged the reputation of the company.

"Deals with Tatra were transparent," he said.

"We will issue notice to Singh [V K Singh]", he said, adding that the charges were motivated.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had in April interrogated the BEML CMD in connection to the claims made by former Army Chief Genral VK Singh that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to clear substandard vehicles supplied by Tatra.

BEML produced the Tatra trucks for the Army with the transfer of technology.

Earlier, Czech vehicle manufacturer Tatra Vectra has denied that it had ever approached India's army to offer him a bribe in return of approving a contract for its trucks.

The controversy had surfaced after Singh, in an interview to a newspaper alleged that a retired army officer had approached him on behalf of a vehicle supplier and offered Rs 14 crores as a bribe to approve a tranche of 600 "sub-stanadard" trucks.

The allegations, that pointed towards Tatra, appeared even more inflammatory after the General added that 7,000 such vehicles were already in use in the army and that they had been sold over the years at exorbitant prices, without anyone questioning it.

Issuing a media release in the wake of the billowing controversy that has grabbed national headlines and stormed India's parliament, the Vectra group, which is the largest shareholder of the consortium Tatra Holding s.r.o. that owns Tatra, has refuted the charges of bribery.

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