Probe into Tatra case to be widened to cover irregularities

Probe into Tatra case to be widened to cover irregularities

The ongoing investigation into the allegations of bribery in the supply of defence equipments to the Indian Army through state-owned firm, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) is likely to be widened and to go beyond the probe against V R S Natarajan, the suspended Chief Managing Director of the public sector company.

According to sources, the government is keen on taking action against anyone involved in these deals being probed by Central Bureau of Investigation — be it directors of the company, officials, insiders and outsiders, army personnel and even politicians.

Sources further informed that the investigation was not just about the bribes in the Tatra deals but various other cases of alleged wrongdoings in the supply of defence equipments.

The country’s premiere investigating agency is expected to summon Natarajan for questioning in view of the documentary evidence gathered by it and purported revelations made by retired and serving Bharat Earth Movers Limited officials.

Natarajan was suspended last week from the post of BEML chief by the Defence Ministry on the recommendation of the CBI to carry out a “free and fair” probe after the agency discovered that all those BEML officials summoned for questioning were allegedly being “tutored” by him in advance.

The issue had come to fore after former Army Chief Gen V K Singh in an interview in March alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a retired officer to clear 600 sub-standard Tatra trucks for the Army.

Soon after the former Army Chief levelled these allegations, Defence Minister A K Antony ordered a CBI probe to investigate the charges.

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