Eight years after it registered a criminal case against South African PSU,Denel,the CBI finally filed a closure report into the alleged corruption in the purchase of anti-materiel rifles from the firm. In the report filed before a Patiala House court,the agency claimed the allegations could not be substantiated.
Sources said response from South African authorities did not show any credible evidence against the private individuals and foreign firm.
The agency said they had received responses of judicial requests from South Africa,UK,Isle of Man and Switzerland but it did not show any evidence to substantiate the charges of corruption.
According to the sources,South Africa sent a detailed response to the agency which said that while some payments were made by Denel to Varas Associates,the alleged intermediary,but they were not for the deal of anti-materiel rifles which are used by the army for bursting bunkers.
In its FIR filed in 2005,the agency had alleged that Denel,owned by the South African government,had paid kickbacks to Varas Associates for clinching the deal during the NDA government. The CBI had claimed that alleged pay-off to Varas were made under the heads of technical assistance and consultancy.
Last year,a team of CBI officers led by its then chief A P Singh and DIG Praveer Ranjan had gone to South Africa and met the officials. The CBI has booked unknown employees of the MoD,Denel Limited,Varas Associates,a company based in Isle of Man,and others.
It was alleged that Denel paid 12.75 per cent commission to Varas Associates for help to secure contracts for the supply of anti-materiel rifles. According to the defence procurement laws,original equipment manufacturer should not involve any middlemen or intermediary for getting the contract.