Defamation row: Order on summoning VK Singh reserved

A Delhi court reserved for May 18 its order on summoning Gen VK Singh and four others on a criminal defamation complaint filed Tejinder Singh.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday reserved for May 18 its order on summoning Army Chief General VK Singh and four others on a criminal defamation complaint filed by former Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh.

"The case is reserved for order on May 18," Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said after conclusion of the arguments on behalf of Tejinder Singh, who sought summoning of Army Chief and four others for responding to the allegations against them.

"You can issue notice to them and they can come and explain their part to you," Tejinder Singh`s counsel Anil Aggarwal said.

Besides the Army Chief, Tejinder Singh has named Vice Chief of Army Staff SK Singh, Lt Gen BS Thakur (DG MI), Major General SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney, accusing them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him.

Aggarwal, on an earlier date of hearing had said the Army Chief had made a complaint to the CBI on April 10 that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to strike a defence deal while the press release on the issue of `off-the air-monitoring` was made by the Army on March 5.
Referring to the provisions of Army Act, the counsel had said a serving person cannot communicate with the media directly and if he has to pass on something, he has to do it through the Ministry of Defence.
Tejinder Singh, a former Director General of Defence Intelligence Agency, had filed the defamation complaint against the Army Chief and four other Army officials rejecting the allegations that he had offered the bribe for clearing a deal for 600 "sub-standard" vehicles.

Earlier, the court had asked Tejinder Singh whether he was indicted in any case or any preliminary inquiry was conducted against him when he was serving in the Army.

Tejinder Singh had said no such inquiry was conducted against him and he was decorated twice with medals during his service.

The magistrate had also asked his counsel as to why they have chosen the names of those five officials, including the Army chief, and not those of others.

To this, the counsel had said Lt Col Hitten Sawhney, named as accused in the complaint, had emailed the press release to the media and they had named the officials as accused as per their hierarchy in the Army.

The case was transferred to Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja as the court which was earlier hearing the matter, had refused to proceed with it citing loss of confidence of Tejinder Singh`s counsel in it.

The court had earlier recorded Tejinder Singh`s statement and the pre-summoning evidence in support of his defamation complaint over a press release alleging he had offered a bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd which supplies vehicles to BEML.