Bribe charge: Retired General files case against Army Chief
Lt General (retd) Tejinder Singh on Tuesday filed a criminal defamation case against army chief V.K 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 A.K Antony about it.
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, Antony 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 yesterday 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. In his plea, Tejinder referred to the statement of the Army Chief and various press releases issued by the army in connection with the defence deal and said, the accused persons have abused and misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges of offence against the complainant with intent to injure.
"The accused persons have committed an offence punishable under section 211 (false charge of offence made with intent to injure) of the IPC," Tejinder Singh said in his petition.
He added that such type of press releases issued by the army officers are against the Defence Technical Publicity Rules, 2004. "The complainant has suffered huge social and civil humiliation as a consequence of various press releases and their subsequent wide and extensive publication in mass media," he said, referring to a media report of March 6.
- Asian Tribune -