Sources say serious violations of norms by army commanders in buying defence equipment resulted in a loss of over Rs100 crore of public money in two years. The was revealed during an audit of special financial powers of the army commanders for two years - 2009-10 and 2010-2011 - carried out by the comptroller of defence accounts (CDA) at the direction of defence minister AK Antony, inform sources.
According to sources, the auditors merely looked at 55 transactions in the seven commands of the army. During the probe, the auditors estimated a loss of Rs103.11 crore in those 55 sample transactions. A bulk of these irregularities were noticed in the northern and eastern commands.
The internal audit claims that while making purchases, "standard guidelines to purchase foreign equipment have not been followed repeatedly in the period by top army commanders".
The Army, however, contested the loss of Rs 100 crore in procurements and insisted that no rules have been violated.
The purchases included communication equipment, radio sets, high resolution binoculars, optical fibre cables, mine detection systems, bullet-proof jackets, etc. The auditor found that most of these purchases were made from agents instead of the original manufacturers. In some cases, middlemen were used even though the original equipment manufacturers were present in India, the auditor observed.
Sources in the army said that in December last year, the comptroller general of defence audit had sent its audit observation to the army headquarters for its response.The army replied to all the observations in July.
(With inputs from PTI)