New Delhi: The CBI has intensified its probe to unearth alleged irregularities in procurement and supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks to the army and has called some former defence ministry officials and executives of a private firm involved in the deal for questioning.

Agency sources said the sleuths had found documents suggesting role of some government officials in the multi- crore deal between Tatra Sipox UK and public sector undertaking BEML which is hit by allegations of corruption.

However, the officials questioned on Tuesday were of middle- level posts.

CBI sleuths has questioned BEML Chairman V R S Natarajan, Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi and Director (Defence Procurement) in BEML, V Mohan.

Mohan was asked to provide some documents regarding the procurement of components from Tatra Sipox UK owned by Rishi, the sources said.

The CBI has registered a case naming Rishi and unnamed officials of Defence Ministry, Army and BEML on March 30 for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and also under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Both Natrajan and Rishi have denied allegations leveled against them.

The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in assigning of supply from then Czechoslovakia based Tatra, with which the agreement was originally signed in 1986, to the Tatra-Sipox UK owned by Rishi in 1997 showing it as original equipment manufacturer and the fully-owned subsidiary of Czech company which was against the provisions of Defence Procurement Procedure, the sources said.

A controversy had come to fore after Army Chief V K Singh has said that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a former Lt General to clear the deal of 600 trucks.


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