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Defence Ministry to probe Army's golf cart scam

Source: PTI
July 11, 2009 21:34 IST
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The Defence Ministry on Saturday said it would probe allegations of the Army spending Rs 1.17 crore on golf carts from special funds.

Referring to the Comptroller and Auditor General slamming chiefs of the Army's Northern and Western Commands for alleged misuse of special financial powers during April 2002 and August 2007, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said that "irregularities, if any, will be addressed."

"There is a procedure for these things. Whatever are the shortcomings or whatever have been the deviations from the procedure, they will be examined and suitable action will be taken," he said.

A CAG report, tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, said the Army commanders had 'irregularly used' the funds, apparently for purchasing golf carts, in the name of buying battery-operated wheel chairs for hospital patients and track laying reconnaissance vehicles and for procuring trailers and stretchers for field hospitals.

The report said three out of five 'electric multi-utility vehicles' (motorised carts) procured for Rs 15.6 lakh in May 2006 under the Western Army commander's special financial powers, to transport aged and handicapped patients in military hospitals, were instead sent to the Sivalik Golf Course inside the military station for use by golfers.

Similarly, 22 motorised carts purchased in the name of 'track alignment reconnaissance vehicle' for Rs 1.01 crore in March 2008, meant for army engineer regiments, were sent to golf courses.

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