CBI shuts Tatra case, says insufficient evidence to file chargesheet

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed a closure report in Tatra all-terrain vehicle case where it had put UK-based Vectra Group chief Ravi Rishi and former chairman and managing director of state-run BEML, VRS Natrajan, under the scanner during the 29-month long investigation.

The closure report was filed as there was insufficient evidence to file a chargesheet in the case.

CBI had registered an first information report for alleged irregularities in assigning supply from Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to the Tatra-Sipox UK in 1997 showing it as original equipment manufacturer and the fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company which was allegedly against rules.

It has alleged that there was a conspiracy to continue supply of trucks at higher prices even though other options were available with state-run Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML).

CBI sources told CNN IBN that the allegation that the all-terrain trucks were supplied by Tatra Sipox UK promoted by Ravinder Rishi did not stand during the probe as the Czech-based company gave in writing that Rishi's company was an authorised distributor of its products.

The allegation that initial payment mode was in dollars but later converted to Euros, thus increasing the cost, also failed to stand legal scrutiny after the Bank of Czechoslovakia claimed that it was the bank which had insisted on the change in currency, they told CNN IBN.

n its closure report filed before a special CBI court, the agency said there was no basis to the allegations that TS illegally supplied these trucks as the Indian Army had a valid contract with Czech based company Omnipo. Reuters


The CBI also concluded that lack of indigenisation of trucks supplied by Tatra was not a lapse.

Since evidence collected during the probe did not support all the three major allegations,CBI decided to file a closure report.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the Delhi High court is yet to take up the matter. The closure report is likely to impact another case filed against Lt Gen (Rtd) Tejinder Singh who had allegedly offered a bribe to Gen Singh, currently a minister in the NDA government.

Over the past one week, the CBI has also decided to close the coal scam case against Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and has given a virtual clean chit to former Sebi chairman CB Bhave and member KM Abraham in the preliminary enquiry PE) in the MCX-SX matter.

Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 13:18 PM

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