Why didn’t army chief probe bribe matter: Tejinder Singh

New Delhi : Named as the man who offered army chief V.K. Singh a bribe, Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Khanna said Tuesday that if that had indeed happened then the matter should have been investigated at that time itself.

“If army chief had reported the matter to (the defence minister) and if this had happened, then he should have definitely at that time investigated the matter under the law,” Tejinder Singh, who filed a defamation case against the army chief in a Delhi court, told NDTV.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament Tuesday that the army chief had told him about Lt Gen Tejinder Singh offering him a bribe.

“But he told me he did not want to pursue it. No written complaint was given. Till today I have not received any written complaint from him and after yesterday’s (Monday) report, I have ordered a CBI inquiry,” Antony said.

Sending shockwaves through the defence establishment, the army chief disclosed that he was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore in his office by a retired defence officer for clearing a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles.

Though the general did not name Tatra, manufactured by state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) under licence from Czech-based manufacturer, it is widely believed that he was referring to it.

Tejinder Singh said he had last met the army chief in September 2010 to discuss his re-employment.

“I had met Singh sometime in September 2010, more than a-year-and-half ago for a personal matter related to re-employment, which I don’t want to elaborate. At this time, no conversation has taken place about any purchases or deal regarding Tatra thing being alleged about,” he said.

“I do not work for Tatra and I don’t represent it. I could not have offered him such a big amount being talked about. Whatever the allegations these should have been investigated,” he said.

Tejinder Singh said the matter was in court or very soon would be in the court and his lawyer would talk about it.

He denied having any personal animosity with the army chief.

“We have never served together never in same station or same formation even when he was army chief, I was in Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) reporting to chairman chief of staff and therefore there was no animosity.

“I am told by people close to him that I was not supporting his cause (age row). It was a decision between the court, government and him and finally court gave an answer,” said Tejinder Singh.

“I was not close to him (Singh) and had only a professional relationship with him.”

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