The CBI registered an FIR against Tejinder Singh, a retired lieutenant general, on Saturday for offering a Rs. 14-crore bribe to former army chief Gen VK Singh to allegedly get a consignment of 1,676 high-mobility Tatra trucks cleared by him.
Gen VK Singh reacted — exclusive to HT — to the CBI’s move by demanding the setting up of a special investigation team to probe the nexus between arms dealers and a few people in the defence establishment.
He said it was “the nexus between arms dealers and some people in the defence establishment who are responsible for maligning the armed services and me as an individual”.
A CBI official said requesting anonymity: “We have searched the premises of Tejinder Singh, Ravinder Rishi and his associates Anil Mansharamani, Vikram Kakaiya and Gautam Thadani.” He said Tejinder Singh was called to the CBI headquarters for questioning on Saturday evening.
On April 11, the CBI began a preliminary enquiry after receiving a complaint from Gen Singh about the bribe offer. But Tejinder Singh said he met Gen Singh to seek his help in getting the top job at the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO).
Government sources, however, said Tejinder Singh was never short-listed for the NTRO job. Besides, Gen Singh had already conveyed his reservations about Tejinder Singh's bid for the job to the top officials in the prime minister's office.
According to CBI sources, the agency has tracked the movement of the file relating to Tatra procurement and found that Tejinder Singh met the gen when the file was with him for his comment.
Gen Singh recorded the minutes of his meeting with Tejinder Singh and kept it in the army chief's office. He told defence minister AK Antony about the offer as narrated by Antony in his statement in Parliament.
Gen Singh's staff also corroborated the sequence of events. "Besides, we have fresh evidence to suggest linkages between Tejinder Singh and Ravinder Rishi. We also suspect that Tejinder Singh has links with arms dealers like Abhishek Verma," said an investigator on reasons of filing the FIR.