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India may blacklist six defence firms

NEW DELHI (BNS): The Indian Defence Ministry is examining a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recommendation for blacklist of four foreign firms and two local firms for their alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam.

According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) news report, CBI has recommended to the Defence Ministry blacklisting four firms from abroad which includes Singapore Technologies Kinetics, Singapore; Israel Military Industries (IMI); Rheinmetall Air Defence, Zurich; and Russia's Corporation Defence.

Besides, two Indian firms - T S Kisan and Company Pvt Ltd (New Delhi) and R K Machines Tools Ltd (Ludhiana) - have also been named in the CBI communication to the Defence Ministry.

"CBI report is still being examined by the ministry. Further action in the matter will be taken after obtaining the advise of the CVC and the law ministry," Defence minister A K Antony told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, as per the PIB report.

The CBI in May last year, registered a case against Ghosh and some others regarding receipt of illegal gratification from various suppliers of ordnance factories before a special court in Kolkata.

The CBI alleged in its report that illegal gratification was paid to Ghosh on behalf of some other firms also and that some of them may be liable for prosecution at a later stage depending on the evidence that is collected during the ongoing investigation.

Antony said the report of the CBI indicated that T S Kissan Company allegedly paid Rs 30 lakh as illegal gratification to Ghosh for getting certain supply orders from Avadi-based Heavy Vehicles Factory and R K Machine Tools paid over Rs 2.5 lakh for obtaining certain orders from Chanda- based Ordnance Factory and HVF.

"The investigations conducted by CBI have not implicated other officers of the OFB. In respect of other companies the CBI report indicates that there is a prima facie or circumstantial evidence of payment of illegal gratification to Ghosh. The matter is under further investigation by CBI," he said.

The Defence Ministry is yet to sign any deal with Singapore Technology Kinetics, Rheinmetall and Corporation Defence Russia.


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