Delhi Court accepts CBI’s closure report, gives clean chit to George Fernandes

New Delhi [India], Feb. 1 : A special court has accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) closure report in a case of alleged irregularities in procurement of seven Barak Anti-Missile Defence System and 200 missiles in the year 2000.

CBI Special Judge Gurdeep Singh accepted the closure report of the probe agency. The CBI had given a clean chit to former Defence Minister George Fernandes along with then Samata Party President Jaya Jaitley, former party treasurer Rakesh Kumar Jain, then Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral (Retd.) Sushil Kumar and arms dealer Suresh Nanda.

"No link could be established between Nanda and his any of the companies for receiving commission/fee from IAI Israel and Rafael Israel," the court said.

"After going through the closure report, statement of witnesses and documents placed before me, I do not find any reason to differ with the conclusion of the investigating officer.

Therefore, I am satisfied with the conclusion arrived at by the CBI," the court said in its January 27 order, which was made available on Wednesday.

A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against the accused with some unidentified officials of Israel Aircraft Industries Limited, Israel, alleging irregularities in Barak missile deal.

In October 2000, India procurred seven Barak Anti Missile Defence Systems and 200 missiles worth (Dollar) 268.63 million for induction in the Indian Navy from IAI, Israel, and its sister concern Rafael, Israel.

It was alleged that Nanda paid an illegal gratification of Rs. 1 crore to Jaitley through Jain for exercising personal influence on Fernandes to finalise the deal. A sting operation was carried out by in which Jain disclosed that Nanda paid an illegal gratification of Rs.

1 crore to Jaitley through him for Barak deal. Although the video was found unedited and genuine, the CBI observed that tapes were recorded during 2000-2001 and Barak was approved by Fernandes on September 23, 2000.

Jain, Nanda, Jaitely and Fernandes have denied any transaction of bribe amount and analysis of mobile call details does not bring out any connection of Suresh Nanda with either Jaitley or Fernandes, the CBI said.

The CBI also said that the amount of Rs. 1 crore was not recovered during the course of investigation..

Source: ANI