The Army’s vigilance wing and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted a daylong joint search at the National Defence Academy (NDA) on Tuesday. The sleuths had been on the campus since 11 am and continued to seize documents and items, besides questioning staffers, academic officers and heads of departments, till late evening. CBI sources confirmed the operation and said it was pertaining to procurement of computers within the NDA. The CBI had earlier raided the academy in 2012 in connection with recruitment of Class IV employees.
“The six CBI officials arrived in a vehicle with MH-14 registration number around 11 am. The team included a woman official. The team was sitting in the MIS cell and spoke to education officers, HoDs and others. They were here throughout the day and all the education officers were seen standing near the Sudan block,” said a source from the academy. More independent sources confirmed the development.
The sources in the NDA added that after 3 pm the CBI team went around various departments — 12 in all — in connection with investigation pertaining to the radio frequency identification (RFID) project in the NDA. The Rs 60-lakh project undertaken in the NDA in 2010 involved data linking of the departments within the NDA along with Vyas library of the academy. “The CBI team found RFID machines in some departments. In some, they were missing. The project, though executed within NDA, has been a failure as computers procured under RFID project are used as individual computers by many. The team took files with them,” said a source.
Confirming the operation, a CBI source said: “Searches were carried out based on specific inputs. It was a joint raid by the CBI team and the Army’s vigilance wing. The matter pertains to computers procured within the NDA and their functioning. The CBI team will study the documents and other pertinent objects taken during the search and accordingly a case may be registered. The operation is likely to continue till late night.”
The team was reportedly inside the NDA till 8 pm.
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NDA spokesperson Wing Commander T Natraj neither confirmed nor denied the CBI raid but said: “We do not know what exactly happened. I am not able to get inputs from the right authority.”
Newsline had on July 4, 2013, reported that a Court of Inquiry into alleged irregularities in the procurement of IT stationery, including 2,100 “thin clients” (customised laptops), had remained inconclusive.