After suspension, former CMD of Bharat Earth Movers Limited may face prosecution for allegedly favouring Ravi Rishi’s firm Tatra Sipox to acquire the all terrain Tatra trucks for the Indian Army despite the fact that they were supposed to manufacturing most of the parts in India.
According to a report in the Times of India, Natrajan may have ignored a clause in the earlier contract which stated that the firm needed to start manufacturing certain parts indigenously before it signed a new contract with the suppliers of the Tatra trucks in 2003.
According to the CBI, Natrajan did not consider this clause while signing a deal with Ravi Rishi-owned Tatra Sipox in 2003 and continued to import the parts for the all-terrain trucks thereby favouring the firm.
CBI officials also said that they believe that Natrajan had attempted to mislead them during earlier inquiries and had attempted to influence witnesses like former employees that the CBI had called for questioning.
According to CNN IBN , the CBI believes that the company continued to import the Tatra trucks through the Vectra group despite the fact that the original makers of the truck were still selling trucks to other armies.
Natrajan was suspended from the post of CMD of BEML after the CBI said it could hamper fair investigations into allegations that he was involved in offering a bribe to former Army chief VK Singh. Singh had alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to approve the acquisition of a tranche of Tatra trucks.
Natrajan had defended himself against the allegations and claimed they would prosecute Singh for his statements. However, he was pulled up for his comments by the Ministry of Defence.