CBI arrests senior official in bulletproof jacket scam

R S Sharma, a director-level officer in the home ministry, R K Gupta, director of Anjani Technoplast Limited, and his wife Lavleen Gupta, were arrested on charges of corruption, CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal told reporters. The case was registered against Sharma for allegedly accepting a bribe in the purchase of bulletproof jackets. Sharma looks after modernisation and provisioning for paramilitary forces and allocation of weaponry for all police forces.

"Sharma had developed a nexus with certain private firms supplying security equipment such as armoured panels, bulletproof jackets, helmets and shields and was granting undue favours to such firms," Bhal alleged. The home ministry floated a tender for procurement of 59,000 bulletproof jackets in July 2009. The tender ran into controversies after allegations of manipulation and discriminatory trial of samples supplied by private firms participating in the tender process.

This led to re-evaluation of the tender and re-trial of the sample bullet proof jackets. "Sharma leaked confidential information about the tender and trial process to a competing firm. He established unauthorised contact with the private firm and had been demanding and accepting illegal gratification in lieu of services and favours shown," Bhal added.

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