The Delhi high court on Wednesday sought a response from Indian Army chief Bikram Singh on the contempt plea of lieutenant general (retd) Tejinder Singh for not complying with its order to take disciplinary action against five army officers including former army chief VK Singh.
Besides the army chief, the court also issued a contempt notice to then defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, who was recently appointed as Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, on the plea of Tejinder Singh that despite the judicial order, they failed to act against ex-Army chief and others who had issued an allegedly defamatory press release.
Justice GS Sistani, while asking the army chief and Sharma to file their responses by September 9, however, did not issue a notice to defence minister AK Antony who has also been arraigned as one of the contemnors by Tejinder Singh.
Tejinder Singh had accused VK Singh and others of issuing a "defamatory press release" alleging he was offered Rs 14 crore bribe to clear a tranche of 600 'sub-standard' vehicles for the army.
Earlier, a petition was filed in the high court seeking withdrawal of the press release by the then army chief. The court, which had refused to direct the government to withdraw the March 5, 2012 press release accusing Tejinder Singh of offering the bribe, however, had said the disciplinary action "can be taken" against the former army chief and four other officers.
Alleging non-compliance, Tejinder Singh, in his fresh plea, said it was noted by the court that the then Army chief and four other officers had exceeded their jurisdiction and defamed him and disciplinary action can be taken against them.
He has also sought initiation of criminal or civil contempt proceedings against the army chief and the former defence secretary for not complying with the earlier order.