Breaking its silence on the controversial bribery scandal after three days, London-based Vectra Group on Friday said it has sought the government's permission to file a defamation suit against army chief General VK Singh.
The group is the largest shareholder of the consortium owning Tatra, the company that finds itself in the centre of the bribery scandal.
“We have written to defence secretary SK Sharma, seeking his permission to take General Singh to court for defamation,” said RK Rishi, chairman, Vectra Group. “As he is a serving army officer, we need to go through the proper channels. We are not attacking the institution but the person for making unfounded and defamatory statements against us, which have harmed our reputation.”
Now settled in London, 56-year-old Rishi hails from Delhi. After completing his schooling from DPS Mathura Road, he graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi in 1977. He shifted base to Europe in the late 80s, picking up a stake in the Czech truck-manufacturing firm.
“Once we receive a reply from the government, we will speak to our lawyers to decide how much we can claim as damages,” he said.
On Thursday, the company had officially rebuffed all allegations made by the army chief — terming them baseless and unfounded.
“There has been no formal complaint regarding the quality or performance of Tatra trucks in the last 26 years, either in India or other countries," the company said. "Such defamatory and unsubstantiated comments are motivated by intentions we cannot fathom. They are harmful to our integrity as well as commercial interests globally. We do not compromise on our integrity or the quality of our products.”