Human Rights

Court to probe procurement scam in top Intel agency

The Supreme Court on 16 August has sought a status report by a one man inquiry commission set up under solicitor general Rohington Nariman to probe into National Technical Research Organisation Rs 800crore scam. The court has asked to submit the report within a month.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that the probe conducted by the government into alleged irregularities in procurement of equipments and recruitment of candidates in National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) would be monitored by the court. The probe is to be conducted by RAW chief, Sanjeev Tripathi, and the government has now asked the RAW secretary to look into the matter and recommend action. Earlier, a CAG report into the irregularities in NTRO was made public in reply to an RTI filled by a former employee VK Mittal. Prior to CAG report findings an internal assessment inquiry was conducted by a one man committee headed by PV Kumar who is at present chairman of NTRO into Mittal’s allegation had concluded that national interest had been compromised in procuring security gadgets including UAVs.

Mittal in his petition before the Supreme Court has mentioned that NTRO had acquired sub-standard equipment and insecure data link for UAV project. Further, he has also alleged that NTRO purchased ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) payload costing Rs 20 crores from Israel without obtaining any approval by CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security). VK Mittal was an employee of NTRO. He later took voluntary retirement. He was awarded for his relentless efforts towards national security by DRDO, IB, NTRO and others. National security adviser Shiv Sankar Menon was the first to order an inquiry into corruption in NTRO.

NTRO was formed in 2004 after the Kargil war as the top technical intelligence-gathering agency on the lines of the National Security Agency in US under Prime Minister Office. Working under the National Security Adviser (NSA) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the NTRO is a super-feeder agency for providing technical intelligence to other agencies dealing with security and espionage. The formation of NTRO was for the first time recommended by the Kargil Review Committee.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2011 on page no. 11

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