French industrial engineering major Alstom, named by the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for allegedly bribing two Indians Rs 30 crore to bag a signal contract of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), has said strict action would be taken against officials if allegations are found true.
“Let us be cautious in such cases as these are just allegations. We shouldn't reach conclusions. We are committed to our ethics and believe in strict compliance. We'll take action against officials if allegations are found to be true,”Alstom president transport Henri Poupart-Lafarge told FE.
He, however, added he did not have full information about the development and said the event would not change the company's commitments towards India.
The UK's SFO has requested Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the allegations. “We had received queries from SFO and have also responded to them,” a CBI official told FE. The government may also ask the agency to investigative other such contracts which have been awarded to Alstom in India, the CBI official added.
Alstom Transport led consortium had bagged the contract worth Rs 255 crore from DMRC in 2007. The contract involved design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of train control & signalling system for DMRC's Metro Line 1 and 2. The company was awarded the signalling contract in 2001 for Delhi Metro 1 and 2.
Refusing to comment on the issue, DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal said: “We do not have any details on the matter. So, we can't comment on the issue.”
Alstom Transport currently has operations in Delhi, a manufacturing facility at Coimbatore for signalling and a software facility in Bangalore in partnership with Infotech. Paris-based company has also set up a plant in Chennai to provide rolling stock to Chennai metro and will also be using the facility to export coaches.
The company is working on the development of the first two lines of Bangalore Metro. The project consists of design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of modern signalling and train control system.
The French maker of trains and power equipment is under probe in Britain over bribery allegations after a five-year investigation. According to a Bloomberg report, the company has been the subject of corruption investigations in the last five years across France, India, Switzerland, Brazil and the US. The SFO said in 2011 it suspected that Alstom gave money to companies that acted as “bogus consultants” to bribe