In a boost to army chief General VK Singh, the Delhi high court on Thursday refused to direct the Centre to withdraw the March 5 press release of the army, which accused Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh of offering a bribe to the army chief in connection with a defence deal.
“The Union of India cannot be directed to disown or retract the aforesaid press release,” justice Mukta Gupta said while disposing off a petition by Tejinder Singh seeking withdrawal of the alleged defamatory press release.
The court also considered the reply of the defence ministry that it had no role in the issuance of March 5 press release as it was given out by the army headquarters.
The court, however, said Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings against five army officials including chief of army staff Gen VK Singh.
Tejinder Singh also wanted vice-chief of army staff SK Singh, Lt Gen BS Thakur (DG MI), Maj Gen SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney to be made accused in the case.
He contended that the release issued by senior army officers, including army chief general VK Singh, was “defamatory”.
“Taking disciplinary action is part and parcel of the disciplinary authority. In case a representation is made for taking the action, the same would be considered by the authorities concerned,” justice Gupta said.
In his plea, ex-Lt gen Tejinder Singh had said he was also accused of managing media reports and was questioned for his alleged role in the purchase of off-the-air monitoring system.