CBI disfavours parting with Scorpene deal probe report

December 2nd, 2008 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday again stuck to its earlier stand not to part with the findings of the probe into alleged kickbacks in the controversial Rs.160 billion Scorpene submarine deal.The CBI contented in its 13-page affidavit to the Delhi High Court that the revelation of any inputs received from foreign governments would adversely affect India’s diplomatic ties with those nations, which had co-operated in the probe.

“Disclosure of the CBI report to the public will not only be against the interests of the nation but will also adversely affect the diplomatic relations of India with the concerned country (which participated in the investigation),” CBI director Aswani Kumar said in his affidavit before the Delhi High Court.

“It is submitted that some of the information is information received in confidence from foreign governments and the disclosure thereof may prejudicially affect the relationship of India with foreign states,” the affidavit states.

“Confidentiality of the information contained in the report of CBI far over-weighs the public interest involved in disclosure of such material,” he said, adding: “The disclosure of the information in question would be contrary to public interest and prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India.”

The CBI’s response came on a plea by an NGO, seeking a copy of the report. The petition alleged that there were middlemen involved in the deal, which was against the government’s policy.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, contended that if the government was opposing a full-fledged investigation into the deal on the basis of the CBI’s findings, then he too should be allowed to go through the report to counter the centre’s contention.

The government had finalised the Rs.160 billion deal with the French company in October 2005.

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