New Delhi: Army Chief General VK Singh has made a sensational disclosure.
In an interview to a leading English daily, Gen Singh claimed that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by an equipment lobbyist. Defence Minister AK Antony was apprised of the matter, the Army Chief added.
Gen Singh described the state of affairs in the Army as “shocking”, saying the same led to conditions wherein an attempt was made to bribe the Army Chief.
The lobbyist, who recently retired from the Army, was ready to bribe the Army Chief if he approved the acquisition of 600 sub-standard vehicles of a particular make.
According to the General, the Army had already acquired 7,000 such vehicles over the years at exorbitant prices. While the vehicles were sold to the Army, the manufacturer created no proper facility for the servicing and maintenance of the vehicles.
“Just imagine, one of these men had the gumption to walk up to me and tell me that if I cleared the tranche, he would give me Rs 14 crore. He was offering a bribe to me, to the Army Chief. He told me that people had taken money before me and they will take money after me,” Gen Singh told The Hindu.
“I was shocked. If somebody comes and tells you, you will get so much, what can you do?” he added.
In response to a question, Gen Singh said “obviously somewhere our standards of probity and integrity have fallen”, indicating the bad state of affairs in the Army.
Commenting on the date of birth controversy involving him, Gen Singh said his action against corruption in the Army led to him being targeted. He added that “the hand behind the drama” will soon be revealed.
First Published: Monday, March 26, 2012, 09:16