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Buying bomb disposal suits

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TOI reports on how normal business practice harms security:

The Anti-Corruption Bureau is probing a transaction between the state government and a Mumbai based businessman, in which Rs 6.25 crore was paid for bomb disposal suits (BDS) two years ago. The suits are yet to be acquired by the state home department, highlighting the shocking lack of concern by the government towards security and anti-terror measures despite the 26/11 attacks.

A high-ranking ACB official confirmed that a specific complaint was made by senior IPS officer P K Jain and a probe has been initiated. Jain is managing director of the Maharashtra Security Corporation. So far, the ACB has recorded the statements of businessman Biman Agarwal, IPS officer Shrikant Sarwade, the then additional DG (procurement) Subhash Awate and the then joint secretary (home) G J Rasal.

In his complaint, Jain has alleged that some bomb suits submitted for inspection were inferior and not in accordance with the tender conditions. In fact, Jain had recommended to the state that due to a violation of tender conditions, the order should be cancelled. Agarwal told TOI he is ready to deliver the suits, which he says number 80 and not 82, but the government is not accepting them. State officials say they want to inspect all the suits before accepting them.

The piece tries to portray this as a case of political callousness, but when you read through the facts reported it seems that it is, instead, a simple case of greed.

It is normal for businesses in India to underbid in order to secure a government order and then try to palm off cheaper goods which do not fit specifications. Rules and court procedures ensure that it is next to impossible to recover advances. This is what seems to have happened here. In this case the police seems to have been pro-active in taking the case to the ACB.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 29, 2011 at 4:50 am

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