Was govt bypassed in 2003 Tatra vehicle deal?
The CBI has claimed that there are no documents which show that PSU BEML had kept the Defence Ministry in the loop.
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has claimed there are no documents which show that PSU BEML had kept the Defence Ministry in the loop while signing the agreement for supply of Tatra all-terrain vehicles with Ravinder Rishi in 2003, three years before renewal of contract was due.
CBI sources claimed the 2003 agreement has signatures of suspended BEML chairman V R S Natarajan and Ravinder Rishi while there are no documents related to agreement to show that the Defence Ministry was taken into confidence before renewal.
Both Natarajan and Rishi had denied allegations of any wrong doing in the Tatra all-terrain vehicles supply deal.
According to norms, defence deals cannot be made bypassing the central government but the 2003 agreement was an example of alleged violations committed by the BEML, sources said.
The sources said BEML had entered in an agreement with Tatra Sipox UK in 1997 for the supply of T816 Tatra all-terrain vehicles.
This contract was to be renewed after 10 years but in a surprising move, it was renewed in 2003 just after seven years of its completion, they said.
The decision to enter into an agreement with Tatra Sipox, UK, in which Ravinder Rishi was a director, was allegedly in violation of defence procurement rules which state that all purchases should be made from original equipment manufacturer, which was Czech Republic-based Tatra a.s in this case, or their authorised dealers.
CBI sources said Tatra Sipox UK was allegedly not the authorised dealer of Tatra Vehicles.