The CBI Thursday searched the office and residence of V.R.S. Natarajan, chairman and managing director of the state-run Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML), here for evidence related to a tender process for hiring a consultancy firm.
“The searches began around 8 a.m. simultaneously and our officers were going through voluminous documents and files pertaining to hiring Astral Consulting Ltd., as irregularities were found in the tendering process,” a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson told IANS from New Delhi.
A six-member CBI team also started interrogating Natarajan at his residence after seizing a number of documents from his office and residence as part of the investigation into the case, registered Wednesday.
In the CBI case, Natarajan has been made number one accused and an unnamed director of Astral as the second accused.
“The office of the consultancy firm at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu is also being searched for documents pertaining to the tender. As the case is under investigation, we will not be able to share details at this stage with the media,” the spokesperson said.
A BEML official clarified that the search by the CBI had no connection with the controversial Tatra-truck deal, in which Army chief General V.K. Singh alleged March 26 that a retired lieutenant-general (Tejinder Singh) offered him a bribe of Rs.14 crore to clear the purchase of 600 ‘substandard' all-terrain Czech vehicles.
“The case is connected with BEML hiring Astral for implementing a resource planning project and not related to the Tatra truck deal,” the spokesperson said.