NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has suspended all business dealings with the Vectra company that supplied the Czech-origin all-terrain Tatra trucks to the armed forces through defence PSU Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML).

Defence minister Rajnath Singh approved the suspension of business dealings with M/s Vectra Advanced Engineering Pvt Ltd (VAEPL) for a period of one year from August 14. “Strict compliance of the decision may be ensured by all wings of the ministry and the Services,” says a new circular issued by the vigilance wing of the MoD.

The Tatra-Vectra-BEML scandal had erupted in 2012 after the then Army chief General V K Singh, who is now a minister in the NDA government, has alleged that a retired Lt-General had offered him a Rs 14 crore bribe to clear the procurement of a tranche of 600 “sub-standard” and overpriced Tatra trucks.

The MoD circular said the decision to suspend business dealings with VAEPL had been taken consequent to the registration of the CBI cases in the Tatra truck deal and Gen Singh’s bribery allegation of 2012. This comes after a special court last year had castigated the CBI for filing a closure report in the case by citing lack of evidence.

The armed forces have inducted over 7,000 Tatra all-terrain trucks through a BEML tie-up first with Czech firm Omnipol and then Tatra Sipox of UK since 1986.