Didn’t offer any bribe: Tejinder Singh

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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