CBI quizzes BEML chief Natarajan on Tatra-Army deal

New Delhi, April 17: Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) Chairman and Managing Director V Natarajan was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday in connection with the controversy over the deal to supply the all-terrain Tatra trucks to the Army.

The CBI is investigating the BEML-Tatra deal following Army Chief General VK Singh’s allegations that he was offered a bribe of Rs.14 crore by a former Army officer lobbying for the truck

It is likely to ask Natarajan 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. (ANI)