CBI books BEML chairman on charges of cheating, corruption

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SummaryAccording to probe, Natarajan was part of alleged criminal conspiracy to award work to Astral.

The CBI today reportedly booked BEML chairman V R S Natarajan for alleged cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with the tendering process for hiring a private consultancy firm and carried out searches at several locations including his residence.

The case related to contract awarded for the implementation of Enterprises Resource Planning Project in the public sector undertaking during 2004-09.

The agency has now named Natarajan and Coimbatore-based Astral Consultants' Director C S Srivatsan as accused in the case of alleged tweaking tenders in favour of the private company.

According to the CBI's probe, Natarajan and Srivatsan were part of alleged criminal conspiracy to award work worth Rs 40 crore to Astral Consultants.

Natarajan is already being questioned by the CBI in a separate case regarding alleged irregularities in procurement and supply of Tatra all-terrain vehicles to the Army but he is not an accused in the case.

Teams of CBI officials searched the Bangalore residence of Natarajan, also that of Srivatsan, besides raiding the Coimbatore office of Astral. Officers took into possession "incriminating" documents related to the tendering process and the communication with the company, CBI sources said.

Repeated attempts to contact Astral failed as the company did not answer calls or responded to emails. Natarajan also did not respond to phone calls and messages.

"It is alleged the accused were parties to a criminal conspiracy entered amongst themselves at Bangalore and other places during 2004-09 to cheat BEML in the matter of award of different works relating to the implementation of Enterprises Resource Planning Project in BEML causing wrongful loss to BEML and wrongful gain to others," CBI spokesperson said here.

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