Didn’t offer any bribe: Tejinder Singh
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 00:39
  
New Delhi: Deposing before a Delhi court on his defamation complaint against Army Chief Gen V K Singh, former Lt Gen Tejinder Singh on Tuesday trashed allegations of having offered a Rs.14 crore bribe to him for clearing a deal for 600 "sub-standard" vehicles.

"The allegation was that I had offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd, which supplies vehicles to BEML. This allegation is absolutely false, ill-founded and concocted and I deny the same," he said.

Tejinder Singh, a former Director General of Defence Intelligence Agency, has slapped a defamation case against the Army Chief and four others.

Besides the Army Chief, he has also named Vice Chief of Army Staff S K Singh, Lt Gen B S Thakur (DG MI), Major General S L Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney posted in the media cell, accusing them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him.

Tejinder Singh contended that all the five formed a direct chain of command with the Army Chief being the final arbiter.

Testifying before Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar, who had earlier asked him to record pre-summoning evidence to support his complaint, the former Lt Gen said the allegations levelled against him by the Army Headquarters were absolutely false.

He told the court that between March 3 and 5 this year, a number of media reports alluded to the Army Chief having allegedly ordered "unlawful monitoring" of mobiles, particularly in the South Block area here.

In order to divert the public attention from this news, which pointed fingers at senior functionaries in the Army Headquarters, including Gen V K Singh, the media cell of the Army Headquarters issued a press release on March 5, he said.

Anil K Aggarwal, counsel for Tejinder Singh, said his client was named in the press release without any proper legal action. "Without prosecution, a campaign has been launched against my client," he said.

The counsel referred to statement made by Defence Minister A K Antony in Parliament where he said that the Army Chief had told him about the bribe offer about 18 months back.

"Without taking any action, how can he (Army Chief) take my name in the media in such a serious issue," he said.

The Army Chief had in response to the legal notice by Tejinder Singh told him that he was ready to substantiate the allegations in the court.

Tejinder Singh said the press release, taking his name, laid four allegations against him which were all "false".

"I was absolutely devastated with this sudden attack on me by the Army Headquarters," he said adding the press release "destroyed my reputation and I became a suspect in the eyes of the entire nation." He said the March 5 press release was "illegal".

"Some of my friends and acquaintances have started distancing themselves from me," he said.

He said it was alleged that he had managed media reports relating to the "fictitious story" about interception of mobiles being carried out allegedly by the Army.

"I deny this allegation. I am a retired man for almost two years now and do not have any resources to influence the media," he told the court.

He said the allegation that he was questioned earlier on the purchase of off-the-air monitoring system without sanction by the competent authority was also false.

"I have never been questioned on this issue either during my service or thereafter," he said.

Regarding the allegation that he was an allottee in the Mumbai's Adarsh housing society, Tejinder Singh said, "It is correct that I am an allottee but I would like to say that I am a bonafide allottee and no investigation of any kind exists against me in this case. Therefore, this allegation was only made to smear my reputation."

Names of politicians and retired and serving officers of the armed forces have figured in the Adarsh housing scam.

The court, which also recorded the statement of three other witnesses, has now listed the matter for April 21 for orders on summoning the persons named as accused in the criminal complaint.

The court also recorded the statements of former Army Major R S Sahrawat, Bhupender Chaudhary, cousin of Tejinder Singh, and one Suman Chaudhary, who said he knew the former Lt Gen for the last 40 years.

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.

The Army chief, however, did not want to pursue the matter for unknown reasons, the minister had said.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 10:41


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