New Delhi: The probe into the controversial Tatra-BEML deal is slated to be widened as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is set to question three top former army officer. According to sources, the CBI is probing if information was passed on to Tatra in return for jobs after retirement.
CNN-IBN has learnt that the CBI is set to question the three retired Army officers, who joined Vectra owner Ravi Rishi's companies after retirement.
The investigating agency will probe whether these officers passed on crucial information to Ravi Rishi.
Sources claim that the two branches the Army officers belonged to did not question the quality of procurement.
According to sources, BEML could have been providing outdated technology despite new versions being available.
The CBI has summoned retired officers from the Master General Ordnance Branch and the Directorate General of quality and assurance.
Among them are Lt General Amarjeet Singh, DG (Q and A), who went on to become the chairman of Vectra Engineering, Lt General Swarn Jeet Sehgal, the Master General Ordnance, who went on to become the chief of the controversial Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd, and Brigadier Vivek Mehta, an officer in the MGO Branch, who went on to take the post of senior vice president in Vectra Engineering.
According to sources, it was the offices of MGO and DGQA who were responsible for procurement and quality check of Tatra trucks at regular intervals. CBI suspects that the rules were flouted when Tatra's contract came up for renewal.
Retired Army chief General V K Singh had complained that the number of Tatra trucks being procured for 2010 were beyond requirement. The CBI also suspects that the projection of truck requirements done since 1997 were inflated.
The investigating agency further wants to know if any analysis was done on the quality of spare parts that Rishi's company supplied. The DGQA's office is responsible for the assessment.
Sources close to investigation also say that in 1997 better technology was available yet Tatra's contract was renewed without attempts to find a better alternative or an upgraded version.
CNN-IBN has learnt that when the red flag was raised by army officers on alleged discrepancies in the Tarta deal, the officers were censured and their letters cancelled.
The CBI has now written to the Ministry of Defence, seeking records of quality checks of Tatra trucks and also procurement process by MGO's office since 1997.
Army officers joining Rishi's companies post retirement has been a trend in the past few years, and though Rishi denies any wrongdoing, the CBI suspects he got inside information and help from officers who later joined him.