Noting that corruption in the defence sector can compromise the nation’s security and territorial integrity, a group of armed forces veterans demanded on Friday that cases of graft in defence deals be dealt with focused probe and by fast-track courts.
In a statement, they said an example should be made of those found guilty of taking bribes in the AgustaWestland case as they claimed that kickbacks in defence deals cannot be viewed as simply a matter of corruption but must be considered in the wider ambit of “anti-national” activities at par with other acts such as “terrorism”.
Among the 78 signatories to the statement are Air Marshal S P Singh (retd), Air Marshal Dushyant Singh (retd), Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha (retd), Lt Gen V K Chaturvedi (retd) and Lt Gen Arvind Sharma (retd).
“It is important that an example be made of all those found guilty of taking bribes in the AgustaWestland case so that it has both a deterrent effect as also serve as a precedent for dealing with similar cases in future,” they said.
This should include, besides the middleman involved, all those who have taken bribes in the government as also all those politicians, and their kin, who have either directly benefitted from corruption or have facilitated the unethical practices for any reason, the statement said.