HC dismisses plea for SIT, CBI probe into Scorpene deal

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New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or the CBI into purchase of Scorpene submarines for the Indian Navy in 2005 from French company Thales.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath refused to direct an SIT or CBI probe, saying the preliminary inquiry report filed by the CBI concluded that the allegations of irregularities in the defence deal were not established.

“We have carefully gone through the preliminary inquiry report. We found that it is concluded in the report that in view of the inquiries made with the ministry of defence and in the light of the discussion of various aspects mentioned therein, the allegations regarding irregularities in processing of Scorpene deal are not established and the material available is not sufficient for registering a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988,” said the court, dismissing the plea.

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The court order came on a PIL filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking CBI probe into the allegations of irregularities and presence of middlemen in the Rs.19,000 crore Scorpene submarine deal with Thales.

In its plea, CPIL had alleged that the government had gone ahead with the deal despite having knowledge about involvement of middlemen as pointed out by the Central Vigilance Commission and the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of ministry of defence way back in 2002.

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