Former Defence Secretary questioned by CBI in Barak missile deal

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New Delhi, May 11 : CBI has questioned former Defence Secretary and UPSC Chairman Subir Datta as part of its probe into the alleged irregularities in the Rs 1,150 crore Barak missile deal.

Sources said that Datta was questioned to ascertain certain facts before CBI quizzed George Fernandes who was the Defence Minister when the deal was signed in October 2000.

The CBI asked Datta about the note that was put before the Cabinet Committee on Security by Fernandes about the need for procurement of Barak missiles from Israel in which opposition by a section of scientists was not mentioned, they said.

Datta, a 1967 batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre, joined Union Public Service Commission in July 2003 and had also been examined by the CBI in the coffin scam earlier.

The sources said that Datta had served in the Defence Ministry during the period when purchases were finalised.

He served as additional secretary from 1998 to 2000 and later as secretary, defence production and supplies (2000-02) before being appointed as Defence Secretary (2002-03).

His questioning was done to enable the CBI to understand the role of bureaucracy, the sources said.

After examining him, the CBI will question Fernandes, who is an accused in the case, and Jaya Jaitley, former president of Samata Party. The CBI has already questioned former Navy Chief Admiral Sushil Kumar in connection with the alleged irregularities.

CBI had claimed in its FIR that the contract price for purchasing seven Barak missiles was about 17 million dollars, which was higher than the price offered by Israel in early 1996.

ANI

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