Allegations of rigging in the supply of carbines to the army, Delhi High Court seeks response from Defense Ministry

Ananya Shroff
3 Min Read

New Delhi : There have been allegations of irregularities in the supply of carbines to the Indian Army. The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Ministry of Defense on this issue. The seller of the Indo-Russian company has approached the Delhi High Court alleging irregularities in the bidding process of Rs 12 thousand crore for the supply of carbines to the Indian Army. This company manufactures AK-203 assault rifles in Amethi. The seller says that the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) wrongly rejected his bid because it considered the financial condition of the seller and not that of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Learn about the case in detail

M/s BSS Materials Limited, the vendor of Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), an Indo-Russian company manufacturing AK-203 assault rifles in Amethi, has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court alleging irregularities in the bidding process. IRRPL, through its vendor M/s BSS Materials Limited, had bid to supply 425,213 close-quarter battle carbines to the Indian Army. The Defence Ministry had cancelled the bid last year.

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The seller made these allegations

M/s BSS Materials says that due to ambiguity in the bidding process, TEC considered the financial position of the vendor instead of considering the financial position of the OEM IRRPL. M/s BSS Materials Ltd is the official vendor of IRRPL and delivered the first batch of rifles to the Army last year. The petitioner has also requested the court to direct TEC to reconsider its bid and remove the ambiguity in the selection documents. The court has asked the Ministry of Defence to respond to the vendor's claim that it has been arbitrarily excluded.

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The court sought an answer

The court has issued notices to the Defence Ministry, Chief of Defence Staff and five other parties in the case, including the Secretary. The ministry has been asked to file its reply by August 9, which is the next date of hearing. IRRPL, which started in 2019, is set to manufacture more than 600,000 rifles annually. IRRPL, through its vendor, had offered the AK-19 carbine, which is very similar to the AK-203, which is being manufactured in Amethi. Jindal Defence and Adani Group's PLR Systems are among the major contenders for this contract.

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