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OFB to take action against six defence firms

Companies including Singapore Technologies were involved in payment of illegal gratification.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
August 8, 2011 9:43:11 pm

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is taking action against six defence firms,recommended for blacklisting by the CBI in a graft case,after giving a personal hearing to them.

As per a CBI report,six companies including Israel Military Industries,Singapore Technologies,German Rheinmetall Air Defence and the Russian Corporation Defence were involved in payment of illegal gratification to former OFB Chairman Sudipto Ghosh.

The other two Indian firms named by the CBI in the case are R K Machine Tools and T S Kisan Company Limited.

“In April 2011,the Ministry has directed OFB that in accordance with principles of natural justice,before taking any decision on the show cause notice it would give personal hearing to the firms. Action is being taken accordingly by the OFB,” Defence Minister A K Antony said in reply to a Lok sabha query.

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The Minister said that in respect of the four foreign companies,the CBI has said that there is a prima facie or circumstantial evidence of payment of illegal gratification to Ghosh and the matter is being further investigated by it.

“OFB has also issued a charge sheet to Ghosh under Pension Rules,” he said.

The OFB has issued show cause notices to Rheinmetall,Singapore Technologies and Corporation Defence in February this year and received their replies in April.

All the companies have denied the charges levelled against them and sought personal hearing and specific evidences based on which action was proposed against them.

Answering another query,the Minister said that no Indian Navy personnel was found guilty in a probe for receiving illegal payments from an American firm.

“A Board of Inquiry was constituted in October 2009 to investigate into allegations of illegal payments to Indian naval officers by York International No naval personnel was found guilty,” he said.

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