Union Defence Ministry on 3 March 2014 ordered a CBI investigation into the purchase of jet fighter engines from Britain’s Rolls-Royce that worth 10000 crore rupees. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been directed to probe into the allegations of kickbacks of more than 5 billion rupees over the deal of supplying engines to state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) between 2007 and 2011 by Rolls-Royce.
Apart from ordering a CBI probe, the Defence Ministry has also put on hold to all deals with the British engine manufacturer till the completion of the investigation process.
The order of investigation by CBI was given following the internal vigilance report (conducted by HAL) that suggests about discrepancies in the deal. HAL investigated into the deal after Rolls-Royce in a letter written to HAL in December 2013 admitted that it had employed a Singapore-based person as commercial advisor in India. The deal involved purchase of engines for advanced fighter jets that is being developed by HAL as training aircraft for Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
India also seeks information from Britain about its investigations against Rolls Royce as the Serious Fraud Office is investigating bribery charges against the company.
Earlier, India on 1 January 2014 cancelled a 740 million US dollar (3600 crore rupees) contract with AgustaWestland, the Anglo-Italian firm to buy luxury transport helicopters for VIPs following bribery allegations (of 360 crore rupees paid in the deal).
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