Several documents relating to the supply of Tatra trucks to the Army by BEML were seized from its headquarters here by Central Bureau of Investigation officials on Friday, sources in the company confirmed to The Hindu, but refused to elaborate on the nature of the documents seized.
The sources clarified that the CBI had so far not issued any summons to BEML Chairman and Managing Director V.R.S. Natarajan.
It is also learnt that local CBI officials were not informed about the raid on BEML Soudha, headquarters of the public sector undertaking, as CBI officials took the assistance of the local police.
A senior official at the CBI local headquarters noted that they were not aware of the development. “Since it is a major case related to the security of the country, officials from the CBI headquarters in New Delhi need not contact us to issue summons or to raid offices,” he said.
Besides BEML Soudha, CBI teams visited the Bangalore and Mysore facilities of the company, the sources said.
BEML produces Tatra trucks at its complexes in Bangalore, Mysore and Palakkad.
Senior BEML officials had an emergency meeting with BEML's Chief Vigilance Officer Kavitha Kestur in the evening.
Meanwhile, D. Hanumanthappa, president of the Karnataka wing of All India Federation of SC/ST, Backward Classes and Minorities Employees Welfare Associations, at a press conference here on Friday, alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad knew about “irregularities” in the Tatra-BEML deal. He said, “I sent a memorandum on August 26, 2009 to all concerned seeking action. It was based on a letter by the then Assistant General Manager of BEML truck division in the Mysore complex, S.N. Ashoka, who had made detailed charges in respect of the Tatra deal. No action was taken.”
Releasing the ‘confidential' letter by Mr. Ashoka addressed to Mr. Natarajan (dated August 21, 2009), he said: “If action was taken then, a lot of money could have been saved.”