New Delhi: In a significant development, Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh on Thursday withdraw his case against Gen V K Singh filed in the Supreme Court in which he had sought a CBI probe against the Army Chief for alleging that he offered bribe to him.
While withdrawing his case, Tejinder Singh told the apex court that he had procured some highly confidential details which he would not like to be put in a public forum.
However, this does not imply that Tejinder Singh’s case against the Army Chief is over and, instead, it would now be contested in the High Court.
Tejinder Singh will now produce the documentary proof gathered by him in connection with the alleged illegal tapping of his phones at the behest of the Army Chief before the High Court.
The move comes two days after the Delhi High Court asked Tejinder Singh to either withdraw his case against the Army Chief or prove that right to reputation was his fundamental right.
Justice Mukta Gupta had asked Tejinder Singh to satisfy the court with proper case laws that right to reputation is a fundamental law, or else withdraw the petition as it will have no basis then.
During the hearing, Justice Gupta told his counsels Anil Aggrawal and S M Pandey that, prima facie, the writ petition filed by their client was not maintainable as Tejinder Singh has other civil and criminal remedies available to him to seek redressal against the alleged defamation caused to him by the Army`s press release.
To this, Aggrawal sought more time to satisfy the court that the right to reputation is a fundamental right and it has been breached by the press statement given by the Army Chief against his client.
Fixing the matter to May 24, the court directed the petitioner to come prepared with all the case laws to support their issue and `not just argue in the air.` Additional Solicitor General (ASG) AS Chandhok, appearing for the Centre, gave to the court a note, which purportedly made clear the Centre`s stand.
The Government said it has no role whatsoever in the issuance of the alleged press release, which was drafted and released by the Army after a proper consultation by the top brass as per their media policy, said Aggarwal, who read the note.
The Centre, earlier, had sought more time to respond to Tejinder Singh`s plea for directions to the Army headquarters to withdraw its March 5 press release, which had allegedly charged him with offering bribe to the Army chief to clear a defence acquisition deal.
Tejinder Singh, in his criminal writ petition filed in the court, had contended that the press release issued by senior Army officials on March 5, including Army Chief General VK Singh, was `defamatory` and had sought its withdrawal.
He had moved the court to initiate disciplinary legal action against the officers mentioned in his plea. Besides Gen VK Singh, 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 as accused in the case.