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Helicopter deal: SC notices to Centre, BSF, CBI, dealers

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) The Supreme Court today issued notices to the union government, the Director General BSF,CBI and three arms dealers namely M/s Rozoboron Exports, M/s Rites Approach Group and M/s Kazan Helicopters on a PIL seeking a CBI investigation into the controversial helicopter deal worth Rs. 180 crores.

A bench comprising Chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Mr. Justice C.K. Thakker issued notices after hearing counsel for the petitioner Deepak Kumar Jena who had alleged that the government of India had paid Rs. 29 crores as commission to the commission agents for striking a deal for purchase of 6 helicopters for BSF.

The commission was paid to M/s Rites Approach Group which had acted as agent on behalf of Russian government owned company Rozoboronexport for striking the deal.

The petitioner has also alleged that the Union government had acted in an illegal manner defrauding the citizens of India by not conducting an inquiry into the big scandal involving illegal payments to commission agents and has tried to hush up the matter.

A contract for purchase of 6 helicopters was signed on April 14,2000. In all 16 per cent commission was to be paid for the deal.

Later the dispute reached the Delhi high court which vide order dated Dec. 12,2003 had directed the government to hold back the 16 per cent commission till further orders. State Bank of India also moved an application saying that it should not be restrained from releasing the payment of commission. The petitioner finally alleged that no lessons have been learnt from Bofors scandals and commission agents are still thriving.

UNI AKS/SC RP BD1932

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