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Govt taken cognizance of Tatra trucks deal: Antony

Posted on Nov 26, 06:20PM | IBNS

Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said the government has requested the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the alleged irregularities into the Tatra trucks deal.

"Government has taken cognizance of alleged irregularities in purchase of Tatra trucks. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been requested to investigate comprehensively into alleged irregularities in purchase of Tatra trucks," Antony said in the Lok Sabha.

"CBI has registered a case on 30.3.2012 under Section 120 B read with 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against one of the owners of the Company and unknown officials of Ministry of Defence, BEML Limited and unknown persons of TatraSipox UK limited," he said.

Former Army Chief Gen. V K Singh alleged that ex Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh had offered him Rs 14 crores as a kickback for approving a contract for 600 "sub-standard" military trucks.

The allegations, that pointed towards Czech vehicle manufacturer Tatra, appeared even more inflammatory after he 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.

U.K. based Vectra group, which is the largest shareholder of the consortium Tatra Holding s.r.o. that owns Tatra, refuted the charges of bribery, asserting that in India it deals exclusively through government undertaking BEML and therefore does not need lobbying.