CBI registers case in RAW tents' probe

CBI registers case in RAW tents' probe

The CBI has registered a case against unknown officials of an intelligence agency and directors of a private company which has “links” with a close aide of Union Minister and former Army chief V K Singh in its investigation into irregularities in supplying high-altitude tents to a covert unit of the RAW.

The agency filed the FIR on Wednesday against unknown officials of the Special Frontier Force and the Cabinet Secretariat, Sai Baba Builders and Consultants and its three directors Shyam Sunder Bhatter, J P N Singh and Manjari, who is the “estranged” wife of S P Singh, a close aide of Singh.

The CBI has invoked criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery besides relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

 “It has been alleged that wrongful favour was shown by the officials of the SFF and the Cabinet Secretariat in the matter of the preparation of tender, procurement, supply and installation of the pre-fabricated shelters for SFF troops during the period 2009-13 which were purchased from the company,” a CBI statement said.

  Searches were conducted at four locations in Delhi and its suburbs and Kolkata on Wednesday. S P Singh was earlier appointed by the former Army chief as his pointsman in his Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency.   The high altitude tents were purchased for about Rs 21.6 crore by the Special Frontier Force which comes under the RAW and was raised after the1962 Indo-China war. The elite guerrilla force comprising mainly of Tibetan refugees is headquartered at Chakrata in Uttarakhand.

Sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself cleared the CBI inquiry after he received a complaint.

The RAW had carried out an internal inquiry and found the tendering process suspicious. Earlier, parachutes bought for the SFF too had courted controversy but the matter did not travel outside for a third party official probe.

Sources said the tender for procuring these tents appeared to be tailor-made for the accused company. They also said that Sai Baba Builders and Consultants allegedly submitted forged documents. Also, they claimed, the Cabinet Secretariat did not seek any bank guarantee, which was unusual.