As the CBI gears up to examine BEML CMD V R S Natarajan tomorrow,the agency plans to question him on the appointment of former Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen (retd) Noble Thamburaj,who is an independent director of the defence PSU.
Thamburaj is already being investigated by the CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in the development of defence land in Pune cantonment. In February this year,the CBI had carried out raids at Thamburajs residence in Pune. He was granted ad interim bail on March 21 with the condition that he would not to leave the city.
According to BEML officials,Thamburaj had been associated with the PSU since 2010 and recently sought a Pune courts permission to travel to New Delhi to attend a board of directors meeting on April 18. The court denied permission after the CBI said the investigations against Thamburaj were in a critical stage. It is surprising that Thamburaj is still one of the directors of a defence PSU. We have informed the CBI unit in Mumbai handling the case against him and will further question his role, said a CBI official.
Thamburaj joined BEML in November 2010 and was appointed as per a Government of India order. Others who joined BEML with him were Rekha Bhargava,former secretary; Kanwal Nath,former deputy CAG; Ramesh Bhat,an IIM-A professor; and Prof S Sadagopan,IIT-Bangalore director. Apart from these independent directors,the PSU was controlled by five functional directors.
After retirement,Thamburaj was also associated with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. he was unavailable for comment.