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DMRC-Alstom bribery case hearing in Oct

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is probing allegations of bribery.

ABHINANDAN MISHRA  New Delhi | 13th Sep 2014

he hearing in the case involving Alstom Network UK Ltd and the alleged bribing of officials and agents of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which is being investigated by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), has been scheduled for its next hearing on 6 October in the Southwark Crown Court, an official of the SFO told The Sunday Guardian.

In the requisition sheet sent by the SFO to Alstom, a copy of which is available with this newspaper, the agency has charged Alstom of "corruptly giving or agreeing to give payment to an official or officials or other agents of the DMRC as inducement or rewards for showing favour to the Alstom group in relation to the award of performance of a contract with the said DMRC for a train control, signalling and telecommunication system for Delhi Metro phase 1".

The SFO had written a letter of request to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Ranjit Sinha in January this year mentioning alleged irregularities in the awarding of the said contract and had asked the CBI for details about a person based in Mumbai, who was suspected to have facilitated the deal. According to sources, the profile of the said person is neither of a bureaucrat nor that of a politician, but someone who is into business.

However, despite more than eight months of the letter being sent by the SFO, the CBI is still examining the letter of request that was forwarded to it by the Ministry of Home Affairs, a CBI spokesperson said.

According to the SFO, a sum of Rs 1.95 crore was allegedly paid to a Singapore based company, Indo European Ventures Pte Ltd on 12 September 2001. The director of the said company, which deals in food and beverages, Ajit Ojha is based in Singapore and is also the director of another company, Green Rocks Global PTE Limited, which is registered in Singapore. Till the time of filing the story, there was no response by the company on the queries shared by this newspaper.

As per the SFO, apart from Indo European Ventures, another company, Global King Technology Ltd was also used by Alstom to pay an alleged bribe amount of 3 million pounds to Indian officials to swing the deal in its favour.

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