Tatra truck deal: BEML chief quizzed by CBI

New Delhi: BEML Chairman and Managing Director V R S Natarajan today appeared before the CBI as the agency had asked him to come for giving clarifications pertaining to procurement and supply of Tatra all-terrain trucks to the Army.

CBI sources said Natarajan was asked to appear only to clarify some points as he is not an accused in the case. Natarajan arrived at the CBI headquarters here at about 11.30 AM.
The central probe agency is likely to ask him the reasons for allegedly renewing the supply contract with Tatra Sipox UK in 2003 much before it was required in 2006.

Natarajan may also be asked details of payments made to Tatra Sipox UK and procurement process of equipment used in assembling these trucks, they said.

In 1997, Tatra Sipox UK had signed the truck supply deal with BEML which was in alleged violation of defence procurement rules stating that procurement should be done directly from original equipment manufacturer only, the sources said. The CBI has alleged that since Tatra Sipox UK was not the original manufacturer of these all-terrain trucks, the rule that defence procurements should be made from original manufacturer was violated.