Shri A K Anthony
The Defence Minister of India
Sub: Action against Mr VRS Natarajan, CMD, BEML for threatening to sue the ex-Army Chief for defamation.
Dear Shri Anthony,
The nation was witness to the strange spectacle of the CMD of BEML holding a press conference to announce that he was issuing a defamation notice to ex-Chief of Army, General VK Singh, who had retired a day before.
When he was asked as to whether he had taken permission from the Ministry he said that he did not need to do so.
Kindly let the nation know that as an appointee of the government does he have the authority to issue notice of defamation to the ex-Chief of the Army, which also happens to be its largest customer, without the permission of the Ministry. It appeared that Mr Natarajan was acting on behalf of Mr Ravi Rishi, and as a middleman to a middleman, having a personal stake in the profits made in the selling of Tatra trucks.
If it is so then the nation will rightly conclude that BEML has become the personal fiefdom of Mr Natarajan and the government is powerless to reign him in for fear of the names he will reveal.
If it is not so then please confirm to the nation that you or your Ministry gave him permission to sue the ex-Chief for defamation and announce it to the media through a press conference.
In that case, it will confirm to the nation that you have stopped supporting the honest and started supporting the corrupt. And that the last known honest politicians of the country too has his limitations.
More important, was it not your Ministry which sanctions the purchase of trucks from BEML that stopped the orders to BEML? There were a number of complaints on the Tatra trucks much prior to the matter being brought to your specific notice by General VK Singh. The fact that no action was taken by the Ministry earlier had surprised many, leading to unnecessary speculation about the ultimate beneficiary of the tainted deal.
Is it not true that it was the Ministry that stopped the orders to BEML on grounds of corruption through overpricing and low quality?
Is it not true that Tatra Sipox has no factory, is a middleman which does not even register the turnover of the trucks in its books of accounts in London?
Is it not true that though the payments are made through bank documents by BEML to Tatra Sipox, the same is not received in its books? Where does it disappear?
Is it not true that BEML under Natarajan grossly abused its status as a PSU and its monopoly on orders from the government and became an agent for middlemen like Rishi?
Will the Ministry made public the price at which the trucks were being purchased and the quality of the trucks as assessed by the Army?
Are not government servants protected from being proceeded against legally for their bonafide action in the course of duty?
As far as the nation is concerned, the proof of corruption in the Tatra deal is the compelling visual of the Tatra truck having its steering on the left hand side.
It is requested in the interest of the nation that it be revealed as to whether Mr Natarajan has the backing of the Defence Minister in suing the ex-Army chief and if not what are the compelling circumstances that inspite of CBI raid he continues to be in office and the government is not even able to send him on leave.
Silence in this case is not the answer as the conclusions drawn from the silence are ominous!
With warm regards
A K Agrawal
(Arun Agrawal is the author of the book Reliance: The Real Natwar. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)
Read More by Arun Agrawal on Tatra Scam: