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Examining report on use of secret funds: Defence ministry
Friday September 20, 2013 7:40 PM, IANS

The defence ministry said Friday it was examining a report it had received from the Indian Army on the functioning of one of its units that was receiving secret funds but that no decision had been taken on a CBI probe into the issue.

"The government has received a report from the Army HQ on certain issues relating to one of its outfits as reported by a section of the media today," a defence ministry statement said..

"The report impinges on matters of national security and, as such, the government will take a decision and further actions after a careful examination of the report." the statement said, adding: "The government has in place measures to prevent any such undesirable activities."

The statement also clarified that the ministry "has not taken any decision for a CBI inquiry into the issues raised in the army's report".

The media report was based on a inquiry by a board of officers into the functioning of the Technical Services Division (TSD) of the Corps of Military Intelligence during the tenure of General V.K. Singh as the Indian Army chief.

The report had called for bringing the TDS under the CBI scanner, the media report added.

According to the newspaper report, Gen. Singh allegedly misused the secret funds to destabilise the Jammu and Kashmir government and to pay off an NGO to try and change the line of succession in the army top brass, among others.

Meanwhile, reports of misuse of secret service funds by Gen. V.K. Singh, are "under the active consideration of the government" and appropriate action would be initiated against the guilty, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Friday.

"These (newspaper reports) are under the active consideration of the government," Tewari told reporters here.

"If at all any maleficence is found against any serving or retired officers, appropriate action would be initiated by the government," he said.

Predictably, a slugfest started between the Congress and the BJP on the issue, with the main opposition terming it political vendetta and the Congress denying it.

The Left chose not to link the report and the politics over it.

"It is not on the merit of the issue that the government is trying to initiate a CBI probe against retired Gen V.K. Singh. It is clearly a fallout of his going and sharing the dais with Narendra Modi and hailing him as a leader," BJP leader Balbir Punj said.

"The government may go ahead with its political vendetta, but the people of India will give it a good reply. This is a clear case of political vendetta, there is nothing more to it," Punj said.

General V.K. Singh had participated in an ex-servicemen's rally addressed by the BJP's prime ministerial nominee, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Sep 15 in Rewari in Haryana.

The Congress denied the BJP's charge.

"He has not been arrested, nothing has happened, only Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia has submitted a report, and said there should be a probe by an agency like Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The government has not decided anything nor taken any steps," Congress leader Rashid Alvi said.

"It is not possible that if a person belongs to the opposition party or has ties with a leader who has been declared as the prime ministerial candidate, action should not be taken against him. Law will take its own course," he said.

The Left chose not to link the report and the politics over it, saying it was a national security issue.

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta said: "I would not link it with any political development. The issue is more important because it concerns the defence and security of the country."

He, however, questioned the delay in taking action, on the part of the government. "If the army had sent the report to the defence ministry, why has it been put on hold for a long time? The whole thing speaks of severe laxity and ignoring the interest of the nation," Dasgupta said.

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