New Delhi: Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh on Tuesday slapped a criminal defamation case against Army Chief VK Singh and others in a Delhi court, rejecting allegations that he had offered Rs 14 crore as bribe to the General to strike a defence deal.
Giving a new twist to the raging controversy, Tejinder Singh told that the Army Chief had recommended to the National Security Advisor (NSA) in May-June 2010 to consider appointing him as the head of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).
In his defamation suit filed in a Magistrate's court, Tejinder Singh asked the court to summon and initiate proceedings against Gen Singh for making the "libellous" statement against him in the media.
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 AK Antony about it.
In a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha, Antony said that the Army Chief had told him about Tejinder Singh allegedly offering him the bribe, which he heard with "shock" and asked him to take action against the person.
But the Army Chief did not want to pursue the matter for unknown reasons, the minister said. Tejinder Singh, in his complaint, said the Army Chief had levelled false allegation against him in a press release issued on March 5 in order to get his name cleared from the phone tapping controversy.
Responding to a legal notice sent by Tejinder Singh, the counsel for Army Chief said the press release accusing him and other retired and serving officers of planting stories against Gen.Singh was based on true fact. He accused Tejinder Singh of trying to defame Gen Singh.
In his complaint, the retired Lt Gen has also named SK Singh (Vice-Chief of Army staff), Lt Gen BS Thakur (D G MI), Major General SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney accusing them of misusing their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him.