The Central government on Friday sought some more time from the Delhi High Court to comment on the validity of a press release reportedly issued at the behest of Army Chief V K Singh,accusing Lieutenant General (retd) Tejinder Singh of impropriety.
Appearing before Justice Mukta Gupta,Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A S Chandhiok asked for a weeks time more to take a stand on the issue,saying all the files regarding various officers,named by Tejinder Singh in his petition,have not reached the office concerned.
Justice Gupta then posted the matter for May 7 and asked the law officer to come back with an official statement of the government on the issue.
On March 30,the Delhi High Court had asked the Defence Ministry to clarify if the statement was issued by the ministry or some Army officials in their personal capacity.
Taking up the criminal writ petition filed by Tejinder Singh in addition to a criminal complaint before a Delhi magisterial court,the High Court asked the governments counsel to get clear instructions from the ministry as to who was behind issuing the press release.
During the hearing on Friday,the ASG also raised the questions on maintainability of the petition as a criminal writ petition.
After hearing his submissions,the court said it was currently confining the scope of the petition only to the extent of the authorisation of the impugned press release.
This press release is the bone of contention between Tejinder Singh and the Army Chief,as the former has alleged that V K Singh,in collusion with four other officials,issued the release on March 5-6,alleging that reports in the media about the unauthorised snooping of mobile phones of Defence Ministry officials were put out by him.
The press release had also raised questions over allotment of a flat in controversial Adarsh Society to Tejinder Singh and added he also offered on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd,which supplies vehicles to BEML.
The press release contains ex facie defamatory statements and allegations,which are entirely baseless,false and concocted, Tejinder Singhs lawyer said in the court while seeking a judicial order for its immediate withdrawal.