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dna exclusive: Scientist sues DRDO chief Avinash Chander for defamation

Monday, 7 July 2014 - 10:07am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

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A senior scientist in the country’s premier defence research organisation DRDO, who has highlighted various irregularities and malpractices in the organisation, has served legal notice to the DRDO chief Avinash Chander for allegedly defaming him for taking a stand against corruption.

Navin Prakash Gupta, a computer scientist working the Kanpur-based laboratory of DRDO, last month was transferred from Kanpur to Tezpur following his series of complaints to Central Vigilance Commission and the defence minister highlighting various irregularities in the department.

Following the transfer order, Gupta moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for seeking stay on his transfer orders. In reply to his petition in CAT, the DRDO said, “Scientist NP Gupta has been vitiating the atmosphere in DMSRDE through his irresponsible behaviour and undesirable activities.”

Denying this, Gupta told dna over phone from Kanpur, “The allegation is full of imputation. There is no enquiry against me. Even no show cause notice was served to me in my entire career of 21 years. I am being harassed because I raised voice against corruption.”  Gupta claimed that his transfer is laced with vengeance and motivated. Gupta has made at least 12 complaints to the corruption watchdog CVC including irregularities in procurement of chemicals and fabrics in the Kanpur-based DMSRDE (Defence Materials and Stores Research and Development Establishment (DMSRDE) laboratory. And CVC is conducting probe into his allegations and forwarded to the ministry of defence for detailed inquiry. “I have written about large scale malpractices and irregularities in procurement for the laboratory. Besides irregularities in procurements, top officials of the laboratory were giving out construction contracts worth lakhs of rupees to private vendors and individuals with aim to benefit them by violating all rules and regulations,” Gupta added.

When contacted Drdo spokesperson claimed that conduct of Gupta was not upto the mark over the years. “I could only say that conduct of Navin Gupta was not in order. Beyond this, we do not want to comment on the issue as it is pending in the court,” Drdo official said. 

Meanwhile, Navin Gupta has decided to file a criminal defamation case against Drdo chief and head of directorate of personnel Dr AK Singh. “They have not replied to my notice. And now I'm going to file a criminal defamation case on them,” Gupta added.

His key complaints:
Irregularities in Rs 2 crore procurement of chemicals for DMSRDE
Irregularities in Rs 1.5 crore procurement of Dyneema Fabric
Irregularities Rs 46 lakh DMSRDE fume hood procurement
Rs 15 lakh procurement of scientific and technical books
Rs 2 crore procurement of of polydimathylsilane for Kanpur lab
Corruption in procurement of anti-virus of around Rs 4 lakh

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