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Case registered in Tatra-BEML truck supply deal with Army

New Delhi: The CBI today registered a case in connection with the supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks through state-owned BEML to the Army and called for questioning Vectra group Chairman Ravi Rishi who is a majority stake holder in Tatra.

CBI sources said British national Rishi, who is in the national capital for the Defence Expo, has been called for questioning in the connection with the alleged irregularities in the deal.

CBI Director A P Singh had examined a report forwarded by one of the joint directors of the agency who had opined that a case could be made out and a thorough investigation was required, the sources said.

The deal came under scanner after Army chief General V K Singh had alleged that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe to clear a file related to purchase of trucks.

The Defence Ministry has sent a reference to the CBI seeking a probe in the allegations. However, the agency is waiting for a complaint from Gen Singh before initiating a probe into his allegations.

The sources said based on the reference, two separate cases could be registered by the agency – one related to the deal and another to the alleged bribery offer.

Reacting to alleged involvement of agents and lobbyists in placement of orders for the Tatra trucks, state-owned BEML chief V R S Natarajan has said, "In last 26 years, from 1986 onwards, BEML assembled manufactured, supplied 7,000 Tatra trucks. All of them have been done on single nomination basis, single inquiry basis.

"This type of equipment nobody in world makes, because of its superior technological features. When I am the single vendor and there is no competition, there is no influence required," he said.

The name of Tatra and Bharat Earth Movers Limited was taken by the Army in a press release issued by it on March 5, alleging that retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh had offered a bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Limited.

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