New Delhi: India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Delhi High Court last week that preliminary investigation had failed to reveal any evidence of kickbacks in the Rs160 billion ( $3.5 billion) deal with French shipbuilders DCN, makers of the Scorpene submarine. India has contracted for six of these submarines for its navy.
'No case is made out in the deal. Nothing was found about the Scorpene submarine deal kickbacks,' advocate Mukta Gupta contended before a bench comprising Justices TS Thakur and Siddharth Mridul. The court adjourned the case and posted it for hearing on 14 July when the CBI report would be opened.
In a previous hearing, the court had rejected French arms company Thales' plea to dismiss a public suit that contended that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) did not pass on all its findings to the CBI. The court said it could not dismiss the petition without going through the action taken report submitted by the CBI.
The public suit, filed in the Delhi High Court by noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan, alleged that the IB, which was initially investigating the matter, did not pass all its findings to the CBI and that there were links between the Scorpene deal and what is termed as the Naval War Room leak case.
The leaked data allegedly pertained to the navy's procurement plans, including its sensitive submarine acquisition programme.
In February 2006, the authorities asked the CBI to initiating criminal proceedings against the naval officers and civilians allegedly involved.