Former army chief General VK Singh has, so far, failed to provide the CBI any clinching evidence about the sensational bribe offer allegedly made to him by retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh, agency sources told HT.
Investigators say the General had told them that in what could be the most clinching evidence in the case, he had a compact disc (CD) of his conversation with Lt. General Tejinder Singh in which the bribe was offered to him.
“But despite our repeated reminders in the last one year he hasn’t given us the CD. Now we have given him a last chance to provide the CD or we will be left with no option but to close the probe,” said an exasperated CBI official on the condition of anonymity.
General Singh didn’t reply to HT’s phone call and messages.
In March 2012, General Singh, in the middle of his bitter fight with the government over his age, made a sensational claim that Lt. General Tejinder Singh offered him a bribe of R14 crore to clear the purchase of over 600 Tatra heavy duty trucks for the army.
The trucks were to be supplied by Vectra Group through defence public sector unit BEML. General Singh also alleged that the bribe offer, made in September 2010, was on behalf of Vectra group owner Ravinder Rishi.
Acting on General Singh’s complaint, the CBI first registered a preliminary enquiry and then converted it into a regular case by filing an FIR in October 2012.
Tejinder Singh refuted his claim and said he met General Singh to seek his help in getting the job of chief of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).
But General Singh told the CBI that he had recorded minutes of his meeting with Tejinder Singh in an official ‘Record of Discussion’ kept in the army chief’s office.
“This alleged Record of Discussion holds no value as it is in General Singh’s own handwriting. Therefore, we are not sure of the date when it was recorded. Had he asked one of his aides to record minutes of the meeting, it would have held much more evidentiary value. For investigators, it is just a piece of paper detailing General Singh’s version of the story,” said the officer.