Retired Lt General Tejinder Singh has filed a defamation suit against the Army for alleging in a press release that he offered a bribe to Army chief VK Singh. Defence minister AK Antony too had told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the man accused by General VK Singh was Tejinder Singh.
Tejinder Singh’s lawyer said a defamation case had been filed, seeking damages for maligning his client’s name. Army officials had shown mala fide intent against Singh by issuing a press release against him and they had flouted guidelines by not issuing the statement directly and not through the Ministry of Defence, Anil Agarwal, legal counsel for the retired Lieutenant General said.” There is no reason to target my client. Perhaps he (the Army Chief) is using my client to browbeat the government,” Agarwal said.
Controversy erupted on Monday, after VK Singh alleged in an interview that he was offered 14 crore bribe for the purchase of sub-standard all-weather trucks for the Army. Though VK Singh did not name the vehicle maker or person in his interview, the Army Headquarters on March 5 in a press release had named Lt Gen Tejinder Singh (retd) as the one who “offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vetra Limited, which supplies vehicles to Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).”
“I categorically deny that I have met Gen VK Singh for this matter and if there is an iota of truth in what has been said then action would have been taken at the time,” Tejinder Singh said.
Tejinder Singh said that he met with VK Singh in September, 2010, to discuss re-employment. “I had met Singh sometime in September 2010, more than a-year-and-half ago, for a personal matter related to appointment to a Government of India job, for which he had recommended my case.
I met him to know the status of the case. At this time, no conversation had taken place about any purchases or deal regarding Tatra thing being alleged about,” Singh said. He stressed that he had never represented the Tatra-Vectra group.