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Tejinder Singh files defamation case against army chief

Tuesday March 27, 2012 10:45:22 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh Tuesday filed a criminal defamation case against army chief Gen V.K. Singh in a Delhi court following allegations of bribery over a defence deal against him.

The retired army officer has also named four other senior officers in the case. The matter will come up in the Patiala House court March 29.

Tejinder Singh, who retired in 2010 from the post of director general of Defence Intelligence Agency, asked the court to summon and initiate proceedings against the army chief and others for making the libellous statement in media.

Sending shockwaves through the defence establishment, the army chief disclosed in media that he was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore by a retired defence officer in exchange for clearing a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles and he had immediately informed Defence Minister A.K. Antony about it.

The defence minister Tuesday told parliament that the army chief had told him about Lt Gen Tejinder Singh offering him a bribe.

The retired Lt Gen in his defamation case said: "The statement and allegation against the complainant (Lt Gen Tejinder Singh) are entirely baseless, false and cococted."

Denying all the allegations, Tejinder Singh said that in the press release of March 5 Army HQ publicly accused him and a group of serving officers of the Military Intelligence (MI) of conspiring to create a rift between Army chief General V.K. Singh and the government.

On the anonymous complaint that officers close to Gen Singh tried to listen in to calls of the defence ministry's top brass as well as senior generals, the Army HQ said the "fabricated fiction" was put out by a group of disgruntled serving officers of MI working in connivance with a retired Lt General, who was a head of Defence Intelligence Agency.

The Army HQ had listed the charges against the Lt Gen, alleging that he was an allottee in Mumbai's Adarsh Housing Society. The HQ said that the retired Lt Gen offered bribes on behalf of a leading foreign automobile maker that supplies vehicles to the Army.

On the allegations about Adarsh Housing Society, the retd Lt Gen said that he is a mere allottee of a flat in Adarsh Housing Society. He further stated that he has no connection with the management of the society and till date there is no official allegation or any inquiry has been made in any scam, and the scandal relating to the society as is being wrongly suggested in the press release.

"The impugned statement is not only defamatory in its natural meaning but also contains imputation and insinuation that the complainant is involved in corrupt practices and illegal activities," said Tejinder Singh through his petition, saying that false allegations and imputation have been made when no case or inquiry has been initiated or pending against him.

"Because of the false, unfounded and libellous statement and illegal act in past and present by the accused persons not only the complainant's reputation and honour has been lowered/ harmed but he is being held up to ridicule in his business, fraternity, acquaintances and family alike, leading others to avoid and shun him."

Complaining that he has suffered huge social and civil humiliation because of the allegation, the retd Lt Gen said he has been caused immense incalculable loss and damage to his reputation and loss of business opportunities in present and in future.

Lt. Gen. Singh also said that "misusing and abusing the office of the Army chief presently held by V.K. Singh, brings disrepute not only to the complainant but is also tarnishing and harming the image of the Army".

Accusing that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him, the retired Lt General in his complaint has also named S.K. Singh (Vice-Chief of Army staff), Lt Gen B.S. Thakur (DGMI), Major General S.L. Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney (GSO-I Directorate General of Public Information).



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