CBI files charges against Delhi firm for supplying fake artillery spares

22 July 2017

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating against Sidh Sales Syndicate, a Delhi-based private firm, for supplying fake China-made parts as 'Made in Germany' to the ordnance factory in Jabalpur.

CBI filed charges against the company, which is based in Delhi's red light area as also some unnamed officials of the Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), Jabalpur in the case.

According to the FIR filed by the central investigation agency, the company supplied fake and cheap spares for fitting into 'Dhanush' guns, an indigenous version of the Bofors artillery guns.

"In furtherance of the said criminal conspiracy, unknown officials of GCF accepted the Chinese manufactured 'Wire Race Roller Bearings' supplied by Sidh Sales Syndicate which were embossed as 'CRB-Made in Germany'," the FIR filed by the CBI read.

"The 'wire race roller bearing' (cheap Chinese-made parts that Sidh Sales is accused of supplying) is a vital component of the Dhanush gun," alleges the FIR registered on Wednesday.

Dhanush is the indigenised version of the Bofors artillery guns, which performed exceedingly well during the Kargil conflict in 1999. The procurement of the guns, however, triggered a kickbacks scandal that cost Rajiv Gandhi his government.

The CBI also said officials of the GCF raised the quantity to be supplied from four to six to rig the cost of the bearings supplied by the company from around Rs35 lakh to Rs53 lakh.

The accused company is reported to have produced fake certificates showing that the products were procured from CRB Antriebstechnik, Germany, and the GCF officials accepted these.

"Sidh Sales Syndicate also submitted a forged certificate of origin in respect of the said bearings being procured from CRB, Germany, and the said certificate was accepted by officials of the Gun Carriage Factory," the FIR stated.

"In furtherance of the said criminal conspiracy, unknown officials of GCF accepted the Chinese-manufactured 'wire race roller bearings' supplied by Sidh Sales Syndicate, which were embossed as 'CRB-Made in Germany'," the FIR says.

CRB Antriebstechnik is a German firm, which, ironically, does not manufacture these parts, according to CBI sources.

Sidh Sales won the Rs35.38 lakh contract for the supply of the four bearings for the 155mm gun in 2013 beating three competitors, the FIR says. GCF ordered six more bearings, at a cost of Rs53.07 lakh, on 27 August 2014.

Sidh Sales completed the supply of six bearing in three supplies in 2014. Tests showed the bearings were unacceptable because of deviations from the specified dimensions.

The company promised to replace any defective bearings free of cost and take corrective action for future supply.

"Consequently, the bearings were accepted as a special case by unknown officials of GCF Jabalpur by abusing their official position," the FIR alleges.

According to the CBI, Sidh Sales had got the six bearings manufactured by Sino United Industries (Luyang) Ltd Henan, China. The agency has also seized emails exchanged between Sidh Sales and three Chinese firms -  Sino United, Xuzhou Helin Slewing Bearings Co Ltd and RTR Engineering Co Ltd.

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