NEW DELHI: BEML chief VRS Natarajan was on Monday suspended by the defence ministry in connection with the Tatra case on a CBI recommendation after former Army chief Gen V K Singh levelled allegations that he was offered Rs 14 crore bribe to clear a deal for 600 trucks.
The move comes a few days after the defence ministry issued a show cause notice to the BEML Chief for slapping a defamation notice against Gen V K Singh without its permission.
‘The government has put the CMD of BEML V R S Natarajan under suspension following a recommendation by the CBI that he should be kept away from the post to ensure fair investigation. The CBI is currently investigating into various charges against Natarajan,’ defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said here.
‘The charge of CMD has been given to P Dwarkanath, the senior most functional Director in BEML,’ he said.
On June 6, the defence ministry had sought an explanation from BEML chief VRS Natarajan for serving a legal notice on former Army chief Gen V K Singh demanding an apology for his alleged defamatory statements against the defence PSU on the Tatra truck issue.
‘Defence ministry categorically denies giving permission to BEML chief to serve a legal notice for filing a defamation suit against Gen V K Singh,’ defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said in New Delhi.
He said the ministry has ‘asked Natarajan to explain as to why he made such a statement to the media.’
Gen Singh, who retired on May 31 after holding the post of the Army chief for over two years, had alleged in March that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe by a former officer to clear supply of a tranche of 600 Tatra trucks from BEML. CBI is investigating the case.
On June 1, a day after Gen Singh retired from office, the BEML chief had held a press conference in Bangalore asking the former Army chief to apologise for alleged ‘defamatory’ statements against the company and its products.
‘The former Army chief has made some allegations against BEML. As the CEO of the company, I deny them as absolutely false, motivated, damaging and defamatory’, Natarajan had said.
However, the former Army chief had refused to apologise to BEML saying that he had just stated the facts.
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