ibnlive » India

Jul 21, 2012 at 04:03pm IST

IAF weapons procurement leak serious, CBI probe on: AK Antony

New Delhi: Even as the Indian Air Force continues to debate the seriousness of the leak of its weapons procurement programme, the Defence Ministry on Saturday said it had ordered a CBI probe into the matter.

"We have referred it to the CBI... The CBI is enquiring the whole thing," said Defence Minister AK Antony. He added, "We are very serious about it."

The top brass of the Indian Air Force on Saturday, however, said that the case was not serious as there may not have been a leak at all, since information of equipment required is regularly shared with foreign vendors and is therefore already in public domain.

A recent Indian Express report had detailed various equipment, including UAVs, the Air Force was planning to buy.

The report was based on documents sent to the Enforcement Directorate by an American, C Edmonds Allen, who was the partner of jailed arms dealer Abhishek Verma.

However, some senior serving and retired Air force officials have said that the leak of information is indeed serious.

Former Air Marhsall AK Singh has blamed the leak on lower level Defence Ministry staff.

"I, with all the assurances and all the work I have done with the Air Force, can with a guarantee tell you that no single serving officer of the Indian Air Force will be involved in this kind of a leak. It could be some involvement from very low level staff of the Defence Ministry, of Indian Air force or from anywhere, because unless and until the nature of the document is known... then once you see the paper in question... then you would be in a position to know from which level the leak has occurred," said Singh.