While Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said the Centre will be approaching the UK government to get more details about the alleged Alstom bribery case, former Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief, E Sreedharan on Friday told The Indian Express that the corporation had “nothing to do” with Alstom UK.
Britain’s top investigating agency, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on Tuesday charged the British subsidiary of Alstom — the French rail transport equipment maker — for paying bribes to DMRC officials for winning signalling contracts in phases 1 and 2 of the metro rail network here.
According to Sreedharan, during whose tenure the contracts were awarded, DMRC never did any business with Alstom’s British subsidiary. “This allegation is against Alstom Network, UK. Our contracts were with Alstom France. The two are different companies. We don’t know how our name came up in the whole matter. DMRC makes great headlines for the media, so maybe they are raking up this controversy,” he said.
On two specific cases mentioned in the charges — one, regarding disguised payments made to Singapore-based Indo European Ventures Pte Ltd and, the other made to Hong Kong-based Global King Technology Ltd, Sreedharan responded that he was not aware about the existence and activities of the two firms.
“DMRC had no connection with any such firms. I read their names for the first time a few days ago when news reports mentioned them. I am quite sure DMRC never had any dealings with these companies, nor with Alstom UK,” he added.
DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said that the issue first came to light in February this year. “Since then, DMRC received no information on the allegations or any directions pertaining to these from either the ministry of urban development (MoUD) or any other agency. None of the organisations — MoUD, CBI or any other — ever approached us regarding the issue seeking a probe or assistance in the matter,” Dayal said. Officials in the MoUD confirmed that they will soon request the external affairs ministry to write to the Indian High Commission in London to approach the SFO and get relevant details.