Tainted GTRE director transferred

A high-level committee, headed by one of the DRDO chief controllers, will probe into all aspects of the allegation, DRDO sources told Deccan Herald.

The decision was taken by the DRDO Director-General and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister V K Saraswat based on the report submitted by an internal investigation team, led by DRDO vigilance director Ajay Gupta.

The GTRE director was one of the 18 persons arrested by the Bangalore police on May 11 from a spa-cum-massage parlour, which is infamous for running a prostitution racket.
In his defence, Rao claimed he went to the parlour to explore the treatment possibilities for his wife, suffering from spondylitis.

Out on bail, Rao has now been transferred to the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification as an outstanding scientist in the category of Scientist-H. His return to the GTRE depends on the outcome of the high-level probe.

Though Rao was scheduled to retire later this year, he received a two-year extension because of the advancements made in the Kaveri engine programme with which he was associated for more than twenty years.

First phase completed

The first phase of the Kaveri engine flying test bed trials have recently been completed successfully.

DRDO officials did not disclose the name of the CCRD who would head the high-level probe.

The vigilance team, which visited Bangalore, last week questioned Rao about the incident and obtained a copy of the FIR. The DRDO team discussed the matter with the City Crime Branch officials who raided the parlour at Jayamahal.

While Rao has been transferred with immediate effect, his position at GTRE would be taken over by one of the DRDO Chief Controllers A Subhanand Rao, who till recently was the director of High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, Pune.

“There is no question of rank or any designation coming in the way of action against him if he is found guilty,” DRDO officials added.

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