NEW DELHI/BANGALORE: With the CBI on Thursday filing a case against VRS Natarajan, chairman and managing director of Bangalore-based PSU Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) for alleged corruption in awarding a contract to a private consultancy firm, his arrest may be round the corner.
CBI sleuths raided Natarajan’s residence and office in Bangalore and recovered documents pertaining to the contract. The team reached the official residence, #256, 1st Cross Indiranagar at around 10.30 am and left only an hour later with documents. Sources in the department have indicated that all documents related to the controversial BEML-Tatra deal would be thoroughly scrutinised over allegations of irregularities.
CBI investigations have revealed massive irregularities in awarding of contract to Astral Consultants based in Coimbatore by BEML.
A CBI official said, “Between 2004 and 2009, BEML awarded enterprise resource planning (ERP) contracts to Astral Consultants in Coimbatore. These contracts were entered into at highly inflated rates, which caused a loss of Rs 40.67 crore to the PSU. The ERP contract was entered into to deliver services to 300 BEML staff.”
CBI has also registered a case against C S Srivatsan, chairman and MD of Astral Consultants in this regard. CBI teams raided his office at Coimbatore on Thursday afternoon and recovered incriminating documents.
CBI investigations have revealed that for the same type of work, other PSUs have hired consultants at substantially lower costs.
Natarajan and Srivatsan have been booked by CBI on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and accepting illegal gratification and relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The CBI on Thursday also questioned Brig PC Das (Retd) and Col Anil Datta (Retd) for acting as lobbyists on behalf of the Vectra group, post retirement.
The investigation agency also questioned Anil Mansa Ramani, a senior executive working for the Vectra group.