1988 pistol deal: Arun Nehru and other exempted from appearance
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A Delhi court has granted exemption to former Union minister Arun Nehru from personal appearance in a 1988 pistol purchase deal for the Army.
Special CBI Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma allowed the application for exemption moved by Nehru, who was then a Minister of State in Home and B P Singhal, the then additional secretary in the same department.
After rejecting CBI's closer report in the 24-year-old case, which had contended that nothing incriminating could be found against Nehru during the protracted probe, the judge issued summons to the two for August 30.
The two accused had sought exemption from personal appearance before the court for the day, which was allowed.
Now the court has fixed September 15, as the next date of hearing in the case.
According to the FIR registered by CBI against Nehru, he along with two other senior officials had caused a loss of Rs 25 lakh to the government exchequer in a pistol deal with Czechoslovakia in 1988.
The case dates back to 1985-86 when Singhal and A K Verma, the then director in Home Ministry, allegedly conspired with Nehru, the then minister of state (Internal Security) for home affairs, to execute the deal.
The prosecution alleged that Nehru ignored the guidelines for conducting the evaluation of 9 mm pistols.
"The then minister did not consult the army personnel and technical experts before the deal was executed. The ministry had also approved the sample, which was found to have a wide array of defects," it had said.
The CBI, in its investigation, found that a policy decision to replace .38 mm revolvers with 9 mm ones was taken on February 21, 1986, following which global tenders were invited.
The deal was finally clinched with Czech firm Merkuria Foreign Trade Corp for purchase of the pistols.
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