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Centre files second affidavit in Kargil scam

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After the controversy on giving clean chit to former defence minister George Fernandes in the Kargil arms purchase scam, the Centre on Wednesday filed a second affidavit in the Supreme Court saying it has decided to refer 20 more arms deals to CBI for fresh investigations.

“The government is committed to taking strict action against officials/authorities, including the former defence minister, if it is found that the excuse of Kargil war was taken to make purchases with a motive of personal benefit in violation of rules and regulations,” the affidavit said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, which went into 123 purchase deals during and after the Kargil war, had found irregularities in 35 of them resulting in an alleged loss of Rs 2,000 crore to exchequer. Referring to the report, the government said that of the 35 purchases, 20 were being referred to the CBI for probe.

“The CAG report has brought out that modified procurement procedure was used to push through deals in the name of Kargil long after the hostilities had ceased, and if the deals were to be scrutinised in normal circumstances, these would not have been entered into, thereby, suggesting serious misconduct on the part of officials/authorities, including the then defence minister,” said the affidavit.

In its earlier affidavit, the government had said there was no violation of any financial rules of the government or the Defence Procurement Procedures, 1992, and the modified procedures issued on June 21, 1999 were not to substitute or supercede the prescribed procedures for normal procurement action.

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