India to go by CBI probe in Embraer Deal: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Mnaohar Parrikar
Today the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Goa will face a crucial floor test on the House, as per the directions of the Apex Court of India.

New Delhi, Oct 25 :  A day after Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer announced settlement with US and Brazilian authorities in the ongoing corruption investigation against it, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said decision here will be taken based on CBI investigation.

Embraer on Monday announced it has reached a settlement with the US and Brazilian authorities in the ongoing corruption investigation against it, terms of which include payment of $206 million to the authorities, and an external and independent monitorship for up to three years, to ensure full compliance with the settlement terms.

An internal inquiry done by Embraer, meanwhile, has determined that the company is “responsible for misdeeds in four transactions between 2007 and 2011 in Saudi Arabia, India, Mozambique and the Dominican Republic”.

Asked about the settlement, the minister made it clear that India would proceed as per its own laws.

“American laws are different from Indian law. In American laws, even criminal processes are compounded… in most Indian laws, criminal offences are not compounded unless they are of very minor nature,” Parrikar said on the sidelines of the Naval Commanders’ Conference here.

“Our CBI investigation will go by Indian laws on corruption kickbacks, whatever it is subject to appropriate evidence,” he said.

Asked about the fate of the three ERJ 145 aircrafts bought from Embraer, the minister said national requirement is a priority.

He also highlighted that the defence ministry is soon coming out with a new policy on blacklisting of firms.

“As far as platforms are concerned, I can assure you national requirement is a priority, I am coming out with a proposal or guideline for blacklisting, and next DAC will finalise it. It has been discussed, members are discussing it for fine tuning,” the minister said.

“Basic concept is anyone doing criminal activities of nature of kickbacks, normally should be punished with a ban. But while doing that to what extent the ban is and, please don’t make any inferences from it, will be based on the requirement of the national security,” the minister said.

“Giving exemption also will be based on national security. If I have a platform where the company has been banned, I cannot stop operating the platform because the company now blacklisted has supplied platform. Whose loss it is? You have to see national interest by banning, not knee jerk reactions,” he said.

On Monday, the US Department of Justice said in a court filing that Embraer had paid $5.76 million in commission in connection with the sale of three “highly specialised military aircraft” to India in 2008.

The commission was paid to an entity identified only as Agent D in the filing, said reports.

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