Tejinder Singh testifies in defamation case against Army Chief
Former Lt Gen Tejinder Singh today deposed before a Delhi court, supporting his complaint for initiating criminal defamation against Army Chief General V K Singh and four others.
Recording his statements before Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar, who had earlier asked Tejinder Singh to record pre-summoning evidence to support his complaint, the former Lieutenant Gen said the allegations levelled against him by the Army Headquarters were absolutely false.
Tejinder Singh told the court that between March 3 and 5, this year, a number of media reports pointed fingers towards Army Chief Gen V K Singh for having allegedly ordered "unlawful monitoring" of mobiles, particularly in the South Block area here.
He said 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.
Tejinder Singh said the press release, taking his name, laid four allegations against him which were all "false".
He said in the press release, it was alleged that he had offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd, which supplies vehicles to BEML.
"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," Tejinder Singh said.
Taking cognisance of Tejinder Singh's complaint, the court during the last hearing had asked him to record pre-summoning evidence in support of his allegations levelled against the Army Chief and four others.
Besides Army Chief Gen V K Singh, 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, accusing them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him.
Tejinder Singh's counsel had said the press release issued by the Army officials on March 5 was illegal as they were not authorised to do so and the officials could not address the media directly.
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.
In a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha, Antony had said the Army chief had told him about Tejinder Singh's alleged offer of bribe, which he heard with "shock" and asked him to take action against the person.
The Army chief, however, did not want to pursue the matter for unknown reasons, the minister had said.