Posted On Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 08:55:24 AM
New Delhi & Bangalore: V R S Nata-rajan, CMD of the government-run BEML, was today suspended by the Defence Ministry on a CBI recommendation to ensure fair investigation against him in the controversial Tatra truck deal and other cases.
|Suspended Chairman and MD of
BEML V R S Natarajan
The move comes a few days after the Defence Ministry issued a show-cause notice to the BEML chief for slapping a defamation notice against former Army Chief Gen V K Singh without its permission.
“The Government has put the CMD of BEML V R S Natarajan under suspension following a recommendation by the CBI that he should be kept away from the post to ensure fair investigation. The CBI is currently investigating various charges against Natarajan,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said here.
“The charge of CMD has been given to P Dwarkanath, the senior most functional Director in BEML,” he said.
In Bangalore, Natarajan, who has headed the defence PSU for 12 years, said he will “come out clean” in the cases against him. “I respect the Government decision and I will come out clean in this process,” he said.
Natarajan is being questioned by the CBI in a case regarding alleged irregularities in procurement and supply of Tatra all-terrain vehicles to the army.
Gen V K Singh, who retired on May 31 after holding the post of Army chief for over two years, had alleged in March that he was offered a Rs 14-crore bribe by Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh to clear supply of a tranche of 600 “sub-standard” Tatra trucks from BEML.
On June 6, the defence ministry had sought an explanation from Natarajan for serving a legal notice on Gen V K Singh, demanding an apology for his alleged defamatory statements against the defence PSU on the Tatra truck issue.
The CBI has also booked the BEML chairman for alleged cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with tendering process for hiring a private consultancy firm and carried out searches at several locations including his residence.
The case related to award of contract for the implementation of Enterprises Resource Planning Project in the public sector undertaking during 2004-09.
Probe over in two weeks
The Andhra Pradesh CID said it is likely to complete its probe into allegations and counter-allegations made by suspended Chairman and MD of BEML V R S Natarajan and K Raghava Reddy, the chairman of its joint- venture partner Midwest Granite, on cheating and misuse of funds in two weeks.
According to Addl Director General of CID S V Ramana Murthy, the probe is in the final stages and they are in consultation with the legal department on certain issues. Inspector General of Police (CID) who is in-charge of the case is expected to submit report in 15 days,” Ramana Murthy said.
According to CID officials, the Hyderabad Police have first received a complaint from BEML in 2008 on certain irregularities committed by its joint-venture partner Midwest.