A Delhi court on Monday dismissed the bail plea of Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh and sent him to judicial custody till October 20 in connection with the alleged bribe offered to former Army chief General V K Singh in the Tatra trucks deal. The court also said that the accused should “not be shown any mercy by the court merely for the reason that the investigation agency did not arrest him during the whole investigation”.
Relying on the statements of the former Army chief and on the proceedings of the Parliament, Special Judge Madhu Jain said, “Not only are there statements of the then General V K Singh, but also there are recorded proceedings of Parliament of India where this issue was raised. Hence, (there is) no ground for bail to applicant Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh.”
Tejinder Singh has been sent to Tihar jail. The special CBI court had summoned the accused on Monday after it took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the CBI. Tejinder Singh’s counsel had moved a bail application in the case.
Arguing for the bail plea, the counsel said that his client had appeared at first instance after receipt of summons, and that the accused was never arrested by the CBI and had fully cooperated during the investigation.
However, senior public prosecutor V K Sharma opposed the bail plea, saying that the court should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and that “paramount consideration” should be given to the state and public interest. “The accused was holding number two position in the Indian Army from which he retired, and immediately after his retirement, he offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore. The court should look into the nature of the offence,” the prosecutor said.
Rejecting the contention of Tejinder Singh’s counsel, the Special Judge said, “The law of the land should be equal for all. If a person who commits a theft of Rs 1,000 is sent to jail under the provisions of law without any mercy, then a person who was holding the rank of Lt Gen in the Indian Army should not be shown any mercy by the court merely for the reason that the investigation agency did not arrest him during the whole investigation.”
The Delhi court fixed October 20 for further arguments. Tejinder Singh has been charged by the CBI of criminal conspiracy for allegedly offering Rs 14 crore bribe to V K Singh to clear a file pertaining to the procurement of 1,676 heavy mobility Tatra vehicles.
On Monday evening, Tejinder Singh’s counsel filed a bail application in the Delhi High Court, which will be heard on Tuesday.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.