Defence ministry blacklists 7 firms on corruption charges

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by itsnotmyid, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. itsnotmyid

    itsnotmyid New Member

    May 16, 2009
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    EW DELHI: With former Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) chairman Sudipto Ghosh being arrested by CBI recently in a major defence scandal, the defence
    ministry has blacklisted seven companies, including major ones from Israel, Singapore and Poland, named in the case.

    Keen to curb the widespread murky wheeling and dealing in arms deals, defence minister A K Antony has directed that all acquisition cases and projects in the pipeline with the seven companies "be put on hold till further orders".

    While the foreign firms are Israeli Military Industries (IMI), Singapore Technology, Media Architects (Singapore) and BVT Poland, the Indian ones are HYT Engineering, R K Machine Tools and T S Kishan and Company Pvt Ltd.

    All the seven firms were named in the CBI FIR registered on May 17 against Ghosh, M S Sawhney, a Vasant Vihar-based defence dealer, Ramesh Nambiar, an additional general manager with Air India, and three middlemen, Ashish Bose, Pradeep Rana and Kanhai Lal Das.

    IMI, incidentally, had inked a contract with OFB, worth around Rs 1,200 crore, to set up an ordnance complex of five plants at Nalanda in Bihar, in the run-up to the general elections in March.

    The plants were to manufacture 155mm Bi-Modular Charge Systems (BMCS) and other propellant charges for heavy calibre artillery ammunition for Army's Bofors howitzers and other guns.

    Singapore Technology, one of the biggest aerospace and land systems company in Asia, in turn, was a strong contender in tenders for 155mm artillery guns for Army.

    While Media Architects is said to be supplying video-editing software to Indian armed forces, BVT Poland is said to be engaged in marine engineering and naval architecture.

    As for the Indian companies, T S Kishan and Company apparently supplies spares and accessories for Army's T-72 and T-90S main-battle tanks, while Pune-based HYT Engineering provides some components of missiles produced within the country. Ludhiana-based R K Machine Tools, in turn, supplies spares for vehicles and machinery produced by Defence PSU Bharat Earth Movers Ltd.

    "While CBI is yet to file the chargesheet, there is concrete evidence about money transfers to personal accounts of the persons named in the FIR. The defence ministry has sought a detailed list of equipment and material that these blacklisted companies provided to the armed forces. It is still awaited," said an official.

    The blacklisting of the seven companies comes four years after the South African arms firm, Denel, was banned for allegedly paying Rs 20 crore as kickbacks in five contracts for supply of 700 anti-material rifles and ammunition as well as transfer of technology to OFB.

    But, interestingly enough, Israeli Aerospace Industries and Rafael, named in the kickbacks case in the original Rs 1,160-crore Barak-I anti-missile defence system deal inked in 2000, have not been blacklisted on the ground that it would be "counter-productive" due to the several crucial defence projects underway with them.

    The Nalanda project, on its part, has had a convoluted past. The project was first kicked off during George Fernandes' tenure as defence minister in the NDA regime, with the proposed factory complex at Rajgir in Nalanda located in his earlier Lok Sabha constituency.

    Later, the NDA regime identified Denel for the Nalanda project. But after Denel's blacklisting, the construction of the Nalanda complex, on which an initial Rs 306 crore was spent, had come to a grinding halt.

    The UPA government, after coming to office, later constituted an "expert committee" to review the entire project. Subsequently, a global tender was floated after the green signal from the "expert committee" and the Cabinet Committee on Security had approved IMI's participation in January this year.
  3. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2009
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    Dude, the deal may have been shady, but Bofors is not crap. Care to justify your statement?
  4. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Mar 21, 2009
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    yeah Bofors is one of the best that won recent 150mm Hozwitter competition for Indian army, but UPA cancelled it just because of its name.
  5. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

    Apr 20, 2009
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    the UPA will dvastae our armed forces in the name of this Fucking blacklisting process
  6. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

    May 18, 2009
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    I said "Better than having another Bofors and troops ending up with crap."..

    Which means having another Bofors scandal AND ending army ending up with someone who payed and screwed its way to the top of supplier list while have average production values.

    It's best to weed out the fuckers like Sudipto Ghosh from any committees before moving on with any more contracts. Better safe than sorry.
  7. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Antony says no one found guilty in ordnance scam will be spared
    8 Jun 2009, 0056 hrs IST, Rajat Pandit, TNN
    Print Email Discuss Share Save Comment Text:
    NEW DELHI: Defence minister A K Antony has blasted "misplaced attempts'' to link an earlier clean chit given to former Ordnance Factory Board
    (OFB) chairman Sudipto Ghosh in "a minor penalty case'' with the major corruption scandal now erupting with the retired official bang in the middle of it.

    "I take strong action if any wrongdoing is one found guilty will be spared,'' Antony told TOI on Sunday. He then pointed to his directive to blacklist seven companies -- including biggies like Israeli Military Industries (IMI) and Singapore Technologies -- named in the ongoing CBI case against Ghosh.

    Brandishing `its tough stand against corruption' even though CBI is yet to file a chargesheet, defence ministry (MoD) on Thursday froze all procurements and projects underway with the seven firms till CBI finishes its probe into the alleged huge commissions received by the now-arrested Ghosh for favouring them with OFB contracts.

    The contracts put on hold include the one inked between IMI and OFB this March, worth around Rs 1,200 crore, to set up an ordnance complex at Nalanda to manufacture propellant charges for artillery ammunition meant for Bofors howitzers.

    But what about the MoD clean chit given to Ghosh in December 2006? The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), after all, had recommended "a suitable minor penalty'' on Ghosh for alleged irregularities in procurement of ammunition boxes while posted as AGM of Khamaria ordnance factory in 1998?

    "It was a minor penalty case. The then joint secretary concerned (Alok Perti) and defence production secretary (K P Singh) strongly recommended (on file) that we should take it up with CVC for reconsideration,'' said Antony.

    Consequently, in early-December 2006, barely six weeks after he had taken over as the defence minister from Pranab Mukherjee, Antony approved the defence production department's second reference to CVC to reconsider and drop the charges against Ghosh.

    "CVC was also convinced with the second agreed with the department's recommendation (to exonerate Ghosh),'' said Antony. With both CVC and defence production department advising closure of the case, Antony as the "competent authority'' then approved the step.

    Ghosh, who by then had become member (materials) of OFB, went on to become OFB chairman and director-general of ordnance factories in May 2007. And now, just after he retired on April 30, he fell into the CBI trap on May 18.

    CBI says Ghosh entered into "a criminal conspiracy'', with other accused to demand and obtain "huge illegal gratification'' for OFB supply orders to private manufacturers and for transfers and postings.

    While the foreign firms named are IMI, Singapore Technologies, Media Architects (Singapore) and BVT Poland, the Indian ones are HYT Engineering, R K Machine Tools and T S Kishan and Company Pvt Ltd.

    Apart from Ghosh, the other accused include Ramesh Nambiar, an additional general manager of Air India, M S Sawhney, a Vasant Vihar-based defence dealer, and three middlemen, Ashish Bose, Pradeep Rana and Kanhai Lal Das.

    The BJP, of course, has already pointed fingers at how the latest defence scam even touches the PMO since Nambiar, who helped Ghosh open a bank account in Singapore, was "close'' to a "very senior civil servant'' in PMO.

    Antony says no one found guilty in ordnance scam will be spared - India - The Times of India
  8. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2009
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    Seema Andhra
    So, deal with IAI and Rafael is important but not others? How is it not counter productive having blacklisted Denel which was jointly developing BHim with DRDO particularly since Indian Army is in dire need of self-propelled guns? How is it not counter productive having blacklisted most of the companies which build affordable artillery pieces? AFAIK IA's artillery systems are fast becoming junk; and severely inadequate to handle a full-scale battle in future. Or is it because IAI and Rafael deals with missiles; and missiles sound much more appealing to people than artillery ?

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