File on roadside: Antony says nothing compromised on MRCA deal

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Defence Minister A K Antony todaysaid "nothing sensitive was compromised" from the secret fileon medium-multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA) that was found ona roadside here and the suspended process to finalise themulti-billion dollar deal will be restarted.

The file related to the offsets clause in the M-MRCA dealhad gone missing from the Defence Ministry and was laterrecovered from a roadside in the Khelgaon locality.

"We have received the (Defence Ministry) report. All theagencies including the Air Force have reported that nothingwas compromised regarding the procurement of M-MRCA. So,hereafter M-MRCA (acquisition) process will again start," theMinister said here.

He was talking to media after distributing prizes for thebest cultural performances during the Republic Day ceremony.

After the incident, the IAF had ordered a Court ofInquiry (CoI) in December last year and submitted its reportlast week.

A separate inquiry was carried out by the DefenceMinistry under an Additional Secretary-rank official and itsreport was also submitted to the Ministry recently.

The Defence Minister had asked all the three stakeholdersincluding the IAF, Director General (Acquisition) and theDepartment of Defence Production to find out if the deal toprocure 126 fighter jets was compromised with in any way dueto the incident.

Talking about the present status of the deal, Antonysaid, "It will take some time. Who will get the deal, I can''tsay now. The process has started again after the inquiryreport was submitted and it will take a few more months."

On the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) on Adarsh Society scam, he said, "CBI has given thereport in sealed cover to the Mumbai High Court only. Let themgive their official report to the ministry."

Making it clear that the guilty will not be spared,Antony said, "That''s why we preferred a CBI inquiry. Themoment we get the (inquiry) report we will take action."

Asked if he was satisfied with the quantum of punishmentgiven to Lt Gen P K Rath in the Sukna land scam court martial,the Defence Minister said, "the matter is being dealt with byArmy and unless I see the reports I cannot say anything."

A General Court Martial has ordered a loss of two yearsof seniority, 15 years of service for pensionary benefits anda ''severe reprimand'' for Rath for granting No ObjectionCertificates (NOCs) to private realtors for buildingeducational institutions on a piece of land adjacent to theSukna military station in West Bengal.

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