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CBI seeks to examine Canadian national in Air India bribery case

New Delhi: The Central Buraeau of Investigation (CBI) has sent another reminder to Canadian authorities seeking questioning of Nazir Karigar, a Canadian national who is a suspect in a case of alleged pay-off to an aide of a Union minister in UPA government in 2007. The pay-off was made to bag the USD 100-million worth Air India contract.

CBI Director Anil Kumar Sinha.
CBI Director Anil Kumar Sinha.

CBI sources said the agency has registered the case and dispatched judicial requests to facilitate provision of information.

Judicial requests were dispatched in 2013 also, but were only partly processed.

The sources said CBI is seeking examination of Karigar in the case, a scenario that has not been possible even after three years of sending the 2013 judicial requests.

It is alleged that Karigar and unknown officials of Air India had entered a criminal conspiracy in floating and processing a tender for installing computerised passenger face recognition biometrics system in various airports of India. The deal allegedly caused favour to a company, CrypoMetrics, during 2005-07.

It is alleged that Karigar had also provided several crucial tender documents to the company even before it was floated by Air India.

The contract was finally scrapped, but CBI needs to question him to get to the bottom of the case, they said.

Sources said the agency had sent the latest reminder in September this year.

The case is likely to figure in the upcoming talks between CBI Chief Anil Sinha and Bob Paulson of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who is visiting the country and will address the annual D P Kohli memorial on Thursday.

RCMP had approached the CBI through diplomatic channels informing them about the scandal and allegations made against Indo-Canadian businessman Nazir Karigar, who claimed that he had paid a bribe of 250,000 dollars to an aide of a Minister in UPA government, official sources said.

Karigar had reportedly claimed that he had met the Minister through a senior police officer and allegedly paid the bribe amount to the minister’s aide for pushing the contract in favour of his company.

The Minister had rejected the allegations as baseless in his letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Minister had said the claims of bribery appeared to be “a perfect con job” by somebody trying to convince his company that he could deliver a contract if he is paid.

PTI
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