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Tainted defence cos: govt to seek advice

Tainted defence cos: govt to seek advice

New Delhi: Confirming in Parliament, the receipt of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recommendation to blacklist six arms firms, defence minister A K Antony has said that his ministry will take further action against the six firms only after obtaining the advice of CVC and the ministry of law. “Nexus, if any, between Indian and foreign companies does not appear to have been investigated by CBI in this case," Antony said in a statement in the Rajya Sabha.

The six firms in question are- Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (STK), Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI), Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) (Zurich), Corporation Defence, Russia (CDR), TS Kisan & Co Pvt Ltd, (New Delhi)and RK Machine Tools, (Ludhiana)

These firms were implicated in May 2009 in a case involving Sudipta Ghosh, former director general of Ordnance Factories and chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and others.

The CBI had filed chargesheets against only two of the six firms—TS Kisan & Co.and RK Machine Tools, Ltd. While RK Machine Tools allegedly paid Ghosh Rs. 2.5 lakh in lieu of orders from ordnance factory, Chanda.and heavy vehicles factory at Avadi, TS Kisan & Co is alleged to have paid him Rs30 lakh for getting orders from the factory at Avadi.

The CBI report had said that Ghosh was illegally paid on behalf of a few more firms and that those firms too could be prosecuted later on the basis of evidence that is collected.

Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) was one of two contenders for a Rs. 8000 crore towed gun deal along with BAE Systems. After CBI’s recommendation, the ministry has scrapped the tendering process for the deal and fresh a Request for Information (RFI) has been issued.

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