Defence minister AK Antony has directed Defence Secretary Sashikant Sharma to examine the petition sent to him by retd Lt Gen Tejinder Singh seeking action against outgoing Army Chief Gen VK Singh for issuing a "defamatory" press release against him.
Defence Ministry sources said the minister has asked the secretary to look into the petition sent by Tejinder Singh on Tuesday.
After failing to get any relief from the high court before the army chief's retirement, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh had on Tuesday approached Antony for taking disciplinary action against Gen VK Singh for issuing an allegedly defamatory press release against him.
In a petition to Antony, the retired official said "to facilitate disciplinary proceedings against Gen VK Singh, who is retiring on May 31, you are requested to pass an order for his 'attachment' under Section 123 of the army act.
Under section 123, action can be taken against any officer or personnel for offences committed during service even three years after his retirement from the army.
He alleged Gen VK Singh and four other subordinates had "conspired to issue the press communique. To my understanding, you are the only appropriate and competent authority to initiate necessary action against these individuals for committing offence under Section 63 of Army Act."
Along with his application, he has attached the press release issued by the army headquarters on March 5 which alleged that Tejinder Singh was behind leaking stories in the media about tapping of phones of defence ministry officials by the army and offering a bribe on behalf of Tatra Vectra.
The Army release had also claimed Tejinder Singh was being questioned by authorities for procuring of the air monitoring equipment allegedly without proper sanctions.