‘Linking this with Tatra deal is absolutely baseless'

T.K.A. Nair, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Adviser, on Sunday denied any “irregularity or illegality” in the allotment of two plots to his niece and a friend in Bangalore by a cooperative society of employees of BEML, a public sector defence undertaking.

The denial came a day after The Hindu carried a report on how the society made two irregular allotments of housing sites in December 2008.

The plots were allotted to Mr. Nair’s niece A. Preethy Prabha and family friend Uma Devi Nambiar, in violation of the society rules, and at throwaway prices, in South Bangalore.

In a statement issued here, Mr. Nair said he had sought “all the relevant facts,” even as he dismissed as “absolutely baseless” any link to the Tatra truck deal. “The insinuation linking these allotments with the Tatra deal is absolutely baseless.”

“My attention has been drawn to media reports about the alleged irregular allotment of residential plots of the Housing Cooperative Society of BEML to my relatives and family friends. To the best of my knowledge, no irregularity or illegality was involved in the allotments,” Mr. Nair said. “I have requested the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to obtain all the relevant facts of this matter through the Department of Defence Production.”

The allotments were made at a time when complaints about the role of BEML Chairman and Managing Director V.R.S. Natarajan in the controversial Tatra truck deal were pending with the PMO, besides the Central Vigilance Commission and the Ministry of Defence.

But the plots were returned to the society in December 2010, without any explanation.

Under the BEML Society rules, and a relevant Supreme Court judgment, the two women, who have never worked for the PSU and thus could not be regular members of the Cooperative Society, were not eligible for land allotments.

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