BEML,Tatra denies the graft charges
Defence public sector unit Bharat Earth Movers limited (BEML) and Tatra and Vectra Limited has dismissed the allegations that it had offered Rs. 14 Cr. bribe to army chief Gen. V.K. Singh to clear an order for 600 Tatra trucks for the army. Company has said that it has no need to pay bribes, as they were the only vendors for those vehicles.
BEML chairman and managing director V.R.S. Natarajan said that his public sector defence manufacturer was the only firm that produced this class of vehicles under licence from Tatra and Vectra and hence did not need to bribe anyone for getting orders.
We are the nominated nodal agency for the defence ministry to manufacture this class of trucks and supply to the army," Natarajan told during a defence exposition that kicked off at the capital's exhibition venue Pragati Maidan.
Czech Tatra's chief Ravi Rishi also said that they would not approach any officer of the government for orders, as they had a contract directly with the BEML that has been licensed by his company to manufacture the trucks in India.
He said that the truck is manufactured by BEML with licence from us. We only supply some spares and using some indigenous spares, BEML builds the truck. We do not sell the trucks directly to the army or supply it to the defence ministry. It is the job of BEML.
It is noted that the army had recently named Tatra as the firm for which Tejinder Singh was lobbying in a press release. The army headquarters had issued the release to counter allegations that the army chief had ordered the snooping of Defence Minister A.K. Antony and other security top brass at the peak of his age-related row.
(With inputs from IANS)
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