rediff.com: No malafide intent in coffin procurement: Army chief
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January 24, 2002
2050 IST

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No malafide intent in coffin
procurement: Army chief

In an interesting twist to the Kargil coffins controversy, Army Chief General S Padmanabhan has said there was no 'malafide intent' in the procurement of coffins during the Kargil conflict.

The army chief's statement on the coffin controversy that rocked Parliament during the winter session, came in his reply to a letter written by the defence minister.

The general's letter was made public at a press conference in New Delhi called by a journalist to release a booklet on the "truth" behind the purchase of caskets for Kargil martyrs.

The general in his letter to the defence minister refers to the booklet. "The book puts the entire procurement in the correct perspective. The chronology and facts have been lucidly brought out for all to see that there was no 'malafide intent.' An unnecessary controversy will hopefully now be put to rest," he says.

Addressing the press conference, former army chief General Shankar Roychoudhary said political controversies surrounding defence procurements have brought the process of acquisition of technology for armed forces to a standstill.

"While Bofors was used to score political points over the then government, now Tehelka and Coffingate are being used to settle scores," Roychoudhary said.

PTI

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