Quint Impact: Govt Says CVC Examining Rs 300-Cr BSNL-Cisco Scam

Bulk of money for two orders was diverted to a “slush fund”, allegedly appropriated by senior BSNL, Cisco executives

2 min read
Army, BSNL and Cisco officials involved in alleged Rs 2,000-crore rip-off of NFS project. 

After months of virtual silence, the Narendra Modi government on Friday admitted in the Parliament that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) was seized of a Rs 300-crore scam involving officials and senior executives of BSNL and software giant Cisco, respectively.

In a written response to a starred question in Rajya Sabha, Telecommunication Minister (independent charge) Manoj Sinha said:

Reports received from BSNL have been referred to the CVC for advice. The advice of the CVC is awaited

One of the questions posed by Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Javed Ali Khan sought to know “whether the government has completed the departmental inquiry which was to be completed by December 2016 into the Rs 300-crore scam in BSNL in award of the contract for expansion of the National Internet Backbone and in annual maintenance and contract along with purchase of new hardware.”

In responding to another question by Khan and MP Neeraj Shekhar, the government, however, sought to deflect another scam of Rs 2,000 crore, involving BSNL officials, army officers (including a lieutenant general who has since retired) and Cisco executives, claiming that the BSNL awarded “no purchase order (to Cisco) for the supply, installation and commissioning of IP-MPLS Edge Routers and associated equipment for Network for Spectrum”. The Quint had accessed the purchase order at the time the report was published.

Even as the government has admitted to the CVC being seized of the Rs 300-crore scam, a senior Cisco executive resigned from his position in April this year after his name figured in the case. 

On its part, the BSNL has shown little inclination to take action against a senior official who is said to have played a key role in awarding Cisco the contract.

The Quint had earlier reported that a bulk of the money for two purchase orders was diverted to a “slush fund” that was allegedly appropriated by senior executives of BSNL and Cisco.

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