Israel Military Industries (IMI) is planning to go to court to challenge its blacklisting by the Indian Ministry of Defense. In a statement issued on Thursday, the company said, “In all of its R&D and supply programs in India IMI has always acted legally, ethically, and in full compliance with its established corporate policy which mandates ethical business dealings.”
IMI was blacklisted along with Rheinmetall Air Defense and Singapore Technologies, besides three other companies, earlier this month by the defense ministry, as a result of allegations of involvement in charges of corruption against the former chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Sudipta Ghosh.
“Several years ago, allegations of an ethical nature were raised against the former chairman of the Indian Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). IMI was asked to respond to certain assertions of impropriety in that regard. From the outset, IMI denied the allegations, showed them to be factually unbased and illogical, and offered to cooperate as due with the inquiry,” says IMI’s statement.
IMI was to cooperate with the OFB to build an ammunition factory at Nalanda, something to which Defense Minister A.K. Antony referred to in press conference at DefExpo 2012 in New Delhi, when he admitted that blacklisting was a problem as it restricted the options of the government.
“For reasons that IMI cannot understand, its offers to cooperate with the investigation were not taken, and proof of its alleged involvement in any wrongdoing was never supplied, despite repeated requests,” said IMI, adding, “IMI therefore cannot understand, and deeply regrets, that a decision, based on mere unproven allegations, was taken in its regard, and is confident that such decision would not stand legal scrutiny.”
The last line of IMI’s statement is unambiguous, saying, “Consequently, IMI was left with no alternative but to vigorously seek court relief regarding the issue.”
News report on Thursday also reported that Tatra had asked for permission from the defense ministry to file a lawsuit against the army chief.