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CBI gets Centre nod to probe BEML Chief

New Delhi: CBI today received the Centre`s nod to probe the alleged role of suspended BEML Chairman V R S Natarajan in connection with alleged irregularities in supply of Tatra all-terrain vehicle supply to the Army. The agency had sought the permission of the Defence Ministry under section 6A of The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act which mandates permission of the central government before initiating proceedings against an official above the rank of Joint Secretary.

CBI officials today received the sanction from the Defence Ministry clearing the deck for probing his alleged “individual” role in the irregularities into the deal, agency sources said here. CBI has come across prima facie material which indicates his alleged culpability in the case and the agency will soon call him for questioning him on the basis of those documents and records, CBI sources said. They said they have come across several instances where Natarajan allegedly bypassed norms and interacted directly with the supplying firms on crucial negotions without taking into confidence the Defence Ministry.

Sources said in several instances, post-facto approvals were allegedly taken from the Defence Minstry by him on some crucial issues related to supply of all-terrain vehicles. The sources, however, declined to give details of such instances. They said besides seeking permission to probe his alleged role in the case, they had also told the Defence Ministry last week that the presence of Natarajan as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of BEML was adversly affecting its probe.

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