Defence ministry consults CBI on reinstating Natarajan

Sep 18, 2012

New Delhi: The defence ministry is consulting the CBI on a plea for reinstatement by suspended Bharat Earth Movers Limited chief VRS Natarajan who has refuted corruption and other charges against him.

Defence Minister AK Antony had suspended Natarajan in June in connection with the Tatra case after CBI recommended this for carrying out a fair probe in the case.

"We have received a representation from the suspended BEML chief for his reinstatement. The ministry will take a decision in this regard in consultation with the CBI," said sources in the Department of Defence Production in New Delhi.

Suspended BEML, chief VRS Natarajan. Image courtesy PIB

Natarajan's tenure is scheduled to end on 30 September. The government had put the BEML chief under suspension following a recommendation by the CBI that he should be kept away from the post to ensure fair investigations into the charges of corruption in procurement of Tatra trucks for the armed forces.

The charge of CMD has been given to P Dwarkanath, the senior most functional director in BEML. The CBI is currently investigating into various charges against Natarajan.

General VK Singh, who retired on 31 May after holding the post of the army chief for over two years, had alleged in March that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe by a former officer to clear supply of a tranche of 600 Tatra trucks from BEML.

On 1 June, a day after General Singh retired from office, the BEML chief had held a press conference in Bangalore asking the former army chief to apologise for alleged "defamatory" statements against the company and its products.

The ministry had also sought a clarification from him on the issue.


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