Wednesday, February 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CVC seeks comments on deals
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Feb 22 — In a significant move indicating the launching of formal investigations into the defence deals of the past 15 years, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) today called for written submissions from serving defence officials and others who may have information or suggestions regarding the deals.

Although the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was yet to make clear the scope and modalities of the proposed probe into the defence deals, the CVC said that highest priority was being given to the investigations sought by the ministry and that the commission was anxious to submit its report to the government “as early as possible”.

A statement issued by the CVC said that early comments and suggestions would be appreciated. The commission also said that “serving officers in the defence forces may give their observations after informing their immediate superiors so that there is no violation of the conduct rules”.

The CVC has directed that written submissions should be sent to the Commission Secretary, Mr S.N.P.N. Sinha.

The CVC investigations would cover the allegations of presence of agents in all identified major defence procurement decisions since 1985-86 after the then government had taken a decision abolishing the role of middlemen, the statement said.

The investigation would cover all details pertaining to specific instances cited in the course of discussions in Parliament and allegations levelled in the writ petition in the Delhi High Court on the purchase of spares for the Navy for over a decade.

“While the CVC investigations will cover specific cases that have been referred to by the Ministry of Defence, many people may have information and ideas about specific instances covered by the CVC investigations, which they may like to bring to the notice of the CVC”, the commission statement said.

The statement made it clear the submissions could lead to the present system of defence procurement being reviewed and improved in order to plug loopholes and weak points.

However, there were reports that the broad parameters of the proposed investigations were yet to be defined and that there was a substantial amount of ambiguity which still existed regarding them. It was also not clear as to what mechanisms were to be followed as regards its implementation.

Apparently, both the CVC N. Vittal and the CAG V.K. Shunglu have sought clarifications in regard to the scope and modalities to be followed while investigating the deals.

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