New Delhi: With several defence deals coming under the scanner for malpractices, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said the government will scrap any contract or tender that comes under adverse notice.

Antony said at a press conference here after inaugurating the four-day DefExpo defence exposition that the government will take the 'strongest action' against anybody found involved in malpractices.

He was replying to questions on the blacklisting of six defence companies by his ministry recently and the complaints of malpractices in defence acquisition processes, including that of the selection of French combat jet Rafale for a USD 20-billion order for 126 planes.

'In the process of procurement, if it is established at any stage of the contract that there is malpractice then we will cancel the contract,' Antony said in reply to questions.

'Even after signing the contract if anything is found we will take action, we have very strong safeguards. We have cancelled many major contracts following corruption charges,' he said.

Noting that companies have to sign an integrity pact before a contract is signed, he said, 'we have very strong safeguards in the form of the integrity pact.'

For any contract beyond Rs.100 crore integrity pact is a must. 'Under the integrity pact, strongest action will be taken against anybody found to be involved in malpractice. We will protect our interest and money,' Antony added.

Antony said the defence ministry had banned six companies, four of which are foreign, for 10 years from future contracts. He said nobody from the 'defence ministry family' will have anything to do with these companies.

He said due to the blacklisting, some defence manufacturing projects had been affected, but action will be taken.

The six firms including one each from Israel, Russia, Switzerland and Singapore were banned recently after they were named in a chargesheet against former Ordnance Factory Board chief Sudipto Ghosh.