Don’t delay defence procurements: Delhi court

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Observing that the defence forces must be equipped with weapons and necessary logistics, a court here has said that there must not be any delay in procurement.

“…there must not be any delay in any procurement as the delay may not only result in our forces loosing advantage, but also tends to bring in frustration in the forces,” Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Gurdeep Singh said.

The court’s remarks came while accepting a closure report filed by the probe agency in a case related to supply of Krasnopol terminally-guided munition and laser designators during 1998-2000.

The court pointed out that one of the witnesses said that “the procurement of Krasnopol is an urgent requirement for the Drass-Kargil sector and may be progressed in most expeditious manner”.

The witness said a note was prepared in this regard on June 16, 1999, and approved by the defence secretary on June 17, 1999 and by the then defence minister George Fernandes on June 19, 1999.

According to the CBI, a case was registered against M.S. Sahni, a private person, Major S.J. Singh (retired) and unknown officials of the ministry of defence and army headquarters on charges of entering into a criminal conspiracy with Russian arms company K.B.P. Design Bureau for purchasing 1,000 Krasnopol missiles and 10 laser designators worth Rs.151 crore.

In February 2010, the CBI filed a closure report that the deal was necessary in view of the war-like situation and impending possibility of a wider conflict.

Krasnopol was identified as an urgent operational requirement for use with the Bofors howizers and as much more destructive, precise and effective weapon system to be used in the context of Kargil conflict, the court observed.

The army headquarters stressed the urgency of procurement at the earliest for the Kargil sector, the court noted.

In its order made available on Friday, the court opined that national security was of utmost importance and said that soldiers fighting battle should be to provide with the best of ammunitions.

“Life of every soldier is precious to the nation and every drop of blood spilled has its cost. The defence of the country, securing its frontier is of paramount importance,” the court said.

The functionaries at the highest level must be trusted; their decisions must be respected, the court said while expressing that it was the only way by which the morale of the defence forces could be kept high.

“Questions may be asked, but unless a gross violation and irregularity is found, the decision-making authority should not be looked at with suspicion,” the court opined while accepting the closure report.

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