Dealings with Sanjay Bhandari’s Firm Banned By Defence Ministry
Sanjay Bhandari, a controversial defence consultant and arms dealer, has many economic offences in his name.
The Defence Ministry has banned all business dealings and transactions with fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari’s firm Offset India Solutions (OIS) Pvt Ltd and its Group Companies or functionaries until further orders, reported news agency ANI.
The Defence Ministry order that was approved by competent authority reads, “During the period of suspension, business with the said firm will be regulated in terms of MoD guidelines for Penalties in Business Dealing with entities dated 21.11.2016.”
Earlier in 2018, as the Central Bureau of Investigation was investigating Bhandari over a 2012 deal for 75 Pilatus PC-7 aircraft costing 2,896 crore, the Defence Ministry had ordered the suspension of all business dealings with Bhandari's firms for six months or until further order.
The vigilance wing of the Defence Ministry had then intimated all its departments and wings, along with the Army, IAF and Navy, about its suspension order pertaining to OIS, on 5 January 2018, The Times of India reported.
Bhandari, who is also an accused in a 2016 case under the Official Secrets Act relating to the recovery of confidential documents of the Ministry of Defence from his residence during an Income Tax raid in 2016, was declared a proclaimed offender by a trial court in January 2018, reported PTI.
He was reportedly close to Congress leaders and is alleged to have business dealings with Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. After the raids at his residence and offices, Bhandari successfully escaped India and is presently living in London, reported The Economic Times.
OIS had also tried to be a part of the Rafale deal and had exerted 'considerable pressure' for the same, key negotiators told ET. Even though some talks were held, the French counterpart did not allow OIS to get any business from the deal, owing to Bhandari’s closeness with Vadra, the ET report added.
He is also facing prosecution under provisions of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI )
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