Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tejinder Singh files defamation case against army chief

Lt General (retd) Tejinder Singh on Tuesday filed a criminal defamation case against army chief VK Singh and others in a Delhi court, rejecting allegations that he had offered Rs 14 crore as bribe to the General to strike a defence deal.

Tejinder Singh asked the court to summon and initiate proceedings against General Singh for making the libelous statement in media.
The army chief had claimed in media interviews that a lobbyist, who had just retired, offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore for clearing a file relating to purchase of a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles of a particular make and he had immediately informed Defence Minister AK Antony about it.

Army chief didn’t act on bribe issue: Antony
In a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha, Antony said that the Army Chief had told him about retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh allegedly offering him the bribe, which he heard with shock and asked him to take action against the person.

But the Army Chief did not want to pursue the matter for unknown reasons, the minister said.
In his complaint, the retired Lt General has also named S K Singh (Vice-Chief of Army staff), Lt Gen BS Thakur (D G MI), Major General SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney accusing them of misusing their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him.

“Because of the false, unfounded and libellous statement and illegal act in past and present by the accused persons not only the complainant’s reputation and honour has been lowered/harmed but he is being held up to ridicule in his business, fraternity, acquaintances and family alike, leading others to avoid and shun him.

“And they have caused immense incalculable loss and damage to the reputation of the complainant and loss of business opportunities in present and in future,” Tejinder Singh said in his petition filed in a Magistrate’s court through counsel Anil K Aggarwal and S M Pandey.
Antony had Monday ordered a CBI inquiry into the allegation.

Refuting that he had offered bribe to the Army Chief, Tejinder Singh told mediapersons that no conversation related to any Tatra trucks deal took place the last time he had met him and said any such incident “should have been investigated at that time itself.”

“I had last met General VK Singh sometimes in September 2010 which is more than year and a half ago, and it was on a personal matter,” Singh said.

Tejinder said he had gone to meet the army chief for re-employment and was looking to become the chief on National Technical Research Organisation.

He also said that he did not work for Tatra and all such allegation against him did not have an iota of truth.
“I do not work for Tatra and I do not represent it. Therefore, it should be logical to assume that I could not have offered him such a huge amount as is being talked about,” he said.

Tejinder also said that his relationship with the Army chief was only professional.
“I was never close to him. He was not available to me and I had a total professional relationship with him,” he said.

Bribe offer to army chief exists on tape: Reports.
In a new development to General VK Singh’s allegation of bribe offer, a former army officer has reportedly claimed that a tape recording of the bribe offer made to Singh exists.

According to reports, Colonel (ret) RSN Singh said that the tape has recorded the voice of a man who says that army chiefs before General VK Singh have accepted money.

The tape reportedly has the army chief ordering the man out of his office after the man offered a bribe for clearing the purchase of sub-standard all-terrain vehicles for the forces.

The tape is reportedly in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which began investigating the bribery allegation on Tuesday.

The government on Monday ordered a CBI probe into army chief General VK Singh’s allegations.
Sending shockwaves through the defence establishment, the army chief disclosed that he was offered a kickback of Rs14 crore in his office by a retired defence officer for clearing a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles.

Gen Singh told news channel ETV that he could not take action against the person who attempted to bribe him because it was an “indirect offer” that left him “stunned”. He said defence minister AK Antony too was shocked when he reported the matter to him.

More articles