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I am not the man, Tejinder Singh denies bribe allegations

Retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh, whose name has cropped up in media speculation as the one involved in Army chief's allegations about a 14 crore bribe offer, today denied the charge, saying Gen VK Singh had not even taken his name and it was only media speculation. 'Didn't file case as the offer was indirect'

delhi Updated: Mar 26, 2012 21:57 IST
news,hindustan times,Army chief

Retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh, whose name has cropped up in media speculation as the one involved in Army chief's allegations about a 14 crore bribe offer, on Monday denied the charge.

Tejinder Singh said Gen Singh had not even taken his name and it was only media speculation that he was involved in the latest controversy and that he was not working for any private or defence company.

"Having retired two years ago... In the wake of these allegations, some allegations have been made against me, which I must humbly say that I totally deny," he said.

Tejinder Singh said he did not get into a discourse on the matter which would only bring further disrepute to the Army.

The former Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief said he had met Gen Singh a year and a half back in 2010.

Asked if there was any discussion between him and the Army chief about any defence deal, Tejinder Singh said, "To my understanding, Army chief has nothing to do with defence contracts. They are all high value deals which are handled by the Defence Ministry."

He said he was considering taking legal action against "people concerned".

Political parties across the spectrum on Monday said army chief General VK Singh should have filed a complaint about his allegation that he was offered a bribe by a lobbyist to purchase substandard vehicles. The Congress party, too, attacked Singh, asking why he kept quiet for so long.

"It is really unfortunate. Being a government official and head of the Indian Army, he should have registered an FIR if someone came to him and offered a bribe," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

Army chief Gen VK Singh, who has claimed that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore for clearing a 'sub-standard' procurement order, has said he could not understand the import of the statement and that is why he did not act against the person who made it.

"If a person who has just retired a few days ago tells you that you will get this if you do that thing and when you have never heard something like this, you would be shocked.

Earlier in the day, Union defence minister AK Antony ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into army chief's allegations that he had been offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore.

"It is a serious allegation, I have already taken action," Antony told reporters outside Parliament. But he refused to say what action had been taken and pointed out that Parliament session was on.

Reacting to the allegation leveled by Gen Singh, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said, "Both the defence minister and the army chief should have acted immediately.

"It is a criminal act and nobody should be allowed to go scot free after offering a bribe," he told reporters outside Parliament.

Parliament adjourned till noon after ruckus by the BJP leaders over rmy chief general VK Singh's reported statement that he was offered Rs 14 crore bribe.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gave notice for suspension of Question Hour in Parliament, wanting to discuss army chief General VK Singh's claims of being offered a Rs 14 crore bribe.

The government is neckdeep in corruption, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, calling army chief Gen VK Singh's allegation that he had been offered a bribe to clear a tranche of 600 substandard vehicles "very serious".

BJP slams govt

In an interview to a newspaper, the army chief alleged that an equipment lobbyist offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore, which he had reported to the defence minister.

He said the lobbyist offered him the bribe in order to have a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles of a particular make cleared for purchase.

The army chief also added that the defence minister AK Antony was apprised of the matter.

In the interview Singh said, "One of these men had the gumption to walk up to me and tell me that if I cleared the tranche, he would give me Rs 14 crore. He was offering a bribe to me, to the army chief. He told me that people had taken money before me and they will take money after me."

"Things are fast unravelling and you will soon see the hand behind the drama. You will soon see who the sutradhar of the play is," he also added.

'Didn't file case as the offer was indirect'


First Published: Mar 26, 2012 19:52 IST