The Home Ministry on Monday scrapped a tender for buying 59,000 bulletproof jackets for the paramilitary forces owing to irregularities found during evaluation, a Ministry spokesperson said.
The Ministry will request the bidders to submit fresh samples for tests. It has also scrapped the test reports submitted by the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, which works under the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The tender’s value was estimated at Rs. 100 crore-Rs. 150 crore.
The Ballistic tests were conducted under the supervision of Joint Director of the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory R. K. Verma and the Technical Evaluation Committee submitted a report to the Tender Advisory Committee.
The Ministry received complaints from different sources while the matter was under the Technical Evaluation Committee’s consideration. A compact disc purportedly containing conversations between Mr. Verma and one of the bidders was also received.
On December 23, Home Minister P. Chidambaram directed that the tender process be stayed and the price bids not be opened until further orders. The complaints and the compact disc were examined by the Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), who reported that Mr. Verma had admitted that it was his voice on the compact disc.
The Ministry requested the DRDO to take disciplinary action against Mr. Verma after holding an enquiry. The Technical Evaluation Committee and the Technical Advisory Committee were advised to maintain vigil and ensure scrupulous adherence to the terms and conditions of the tender.