Kochi: V.K. Panda, general manager of the Defence Ordnance Factory (DOD) at Medak in Andhra Pradesh, would soon be charged and arrested as the first accused in the controversial Battle Tank deal. Under the deal, the Steel and Industrial Forgings Ltd (SIFL) in Thrissur had sold spare parts to DOD and the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi in Chennai, by allegedly using the bribe route.
Panda, who came here on Thursday, would be taken into custody by the CBI on a charge of taking the bribe. The CBI is set to approach the defense and home ministry, seeking its permission to arrest and question Panda.
Panda reported at the Kochi CBI office on Thursday morning along with two other officials of the Medak factory. The two would not be charged as accused, but would be interrogated.
Subi Mally, the fourth accused and the mediator of the deal, based in Mumbai, had confessed before the CBI court that she had given Rs 3 lakh as bribe to Panda while finalising the agreement.
SIFL managing director Shanavaz and marketing manager Valsan have been named as the second and third accused. A CBI source said Panda was also part of another defense scam in 2009, while he was serving at the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi.
Meanwhile, the CBI team on Thursday opposed the plea filed by Subi seeking to ease her bail conditions.