Lt Gen (retd) 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.
Detailing the allegations levelled against him,Tejinder Singh said it was alleged that he had managed media reports relating to the “fictitious story” about interception of mobiles being carried out allegedly by the Army.
“I deny this allegation. I am a retired man for almost two years now and do not have any resources to influence the media,” he told the court.
He said the allegation that he was questioned earlier on the purchase of off-the-air monitoring system without sanction by the competent authority was also false.
He said,”This allegation is also false. I have never been questioned on this issue either during my service or thereafter.”
Regarding the allegation that he was an allottee in the Mumbai’s Adarsh housing society,he said,”It is correct that I am an allottee but I would like to say that I am a bonafide allottee and no investigation of any kind exists against me in this case. Therefore,this allegation was only made to smear my reputation.”
During his deposition,Tejinder Singh said he came to know about the press release issued by the Army Headquarters on March 5 evening itself as a number of media personnel had started contacting him on the issue.
“I was absolutely devastated with this sudden attack on me by the Army Headquarters,” he said.
The court,which also recorded the statement of three other witnesses,has now listed the matter for April 21 for orders on summoning the persons named as accused in the criminal complaint.
Besides Tejinder Singh,the court also recorded the statements of former Army Major R S Sahrawat,Bhupender Chaudhary,cousin of Tejinder Singh,and one Suman Chaudhary,who said he knew the former Lt Gen for the last 40 years.
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 hadsaid 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.