NTPC, BHEL debunk bribery allegations in US court documents
Facing allegations in the US that their officials were bribed by an American firm for business, state-owned NTPC today said no contract had been given to the company in question, while another public sector firm BHEL declined comments in the absence of any specific details.
"For the Sipat project (in Chattisgarh), NTPC has not placed any direct order on the said company. NTPC is also not a party in the contract between any of the manufacturers and its equipment suppliers, i.e. the said party Control Component Inc," the PSU said in a statement here.
"It is a general statement with no specific details, BHEL can comment only when full details (as put up by Control Component to the US court are accessible," a BHEL official said.
According to documents submitted by the US department of justice before a court, officials of Indian PSUs like BHEL and NTPC appeared beneficiaries of bribes doled out by a California-based valve company to bag lucrative contracts mostly for tools used in power plants.
Prominent among the companies mentioned in the court documents are Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Maharashtra State Electricity Board, Haryana State Electricity Board, National Thermal Power Corporation and Bhilai Electric.
Debunking the reports, NTPC said, "NTPC takes strong exception to its name being highlighted."
On the other hand, BHEL said it followed a transparent policy of procurement and is monitored by internal and Central agencies, including the Central Vigilance Commission and Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
The California-based Control Component Inc in June 2009 had pleaded guilty before the US court to having committed bribery in 36 countries between 2003 and 2007. India, besides China, the UAE and Qatar, are some of the major countries where this company indulged in unfair practices to bag contracts.
Topping the list is the Sipat coal-fired power plant of NTPC, for which Control Component paid a bribe of USD 1,63,449 in two installments to an official of a Moscow-based company. The official has been identified as Vladimir Batenko, according to the documents submitted by the US department of justice