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Tatra deal: Lt Gen Tejinder Singh arrested

September 01, 2014 16:44 IST

Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh was arrested on Monday on orders by a Delhi court which dismissed his bail plea for allegedly offering Rs 14-crore bribe to the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh for clearing file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 heavy mobility Tatra vehicles.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation Judge Madhu Jain rejected Tejinder Singh's bail application and sent him to judicial custody till October 20. "Take him into custody," the judge said.

Meanwhile, the CBI also supplied the copy of the chargesheet and other documents to Tejinder Singh, who had appeared in the court following court's summons in the case.

During the day, he had moved the bail plea which was opposed by the CBI and was later rejected by the court.

The court had taken cognisance of the chargesheet on August 28 after relying upon the statements of former Defence Minister A K Antony, V K Singh and other witnesses whose testimonies were recorded by the agency during the probe.

The CBI in its chargesheet had alleged that in August-September 2010, the file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 Tatra vehicles was pending before V K Singh, who is now a minister of state of external affairs and minister of state in-charge of the department of the northeast region.

The then chief of army staff was not convinced with the total projected requirement of the vehicles and it appeared to him that the requirement has been inflated, the agency had said, adding V K Singh had sought fresh opinion on the issue from different quarters.

In its chargesheet, the CBI had alleged that Tejinder Singh met V K Singh in his office in South Block on September 22, 2010, and during the meeting, he had offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to V K Singh for clearing the file of Tatra vehicles by first week of October.

V K Singh got infuriated and asked Tejinder Singh to immediately leave his office and he, thereafter, intimated A K Antony about the whole incident of bribe being offered to him, the CBI had said.

The chargesheet had claimed that Antony had confirmed having been informed by V K Singh about such offer of bribe made to him about by Tejinder Singh.

The CBI had arrayed 20 prosecution witnesses, including Antony, T K A Nair, the then adviser to the prime minister, and V K Singh and the agency had filed a set of 18 documents along with the chargesheet. It had alleged that during the probe, the former army chief had claimed to have recorded the alleged conversation between him and Tejinder Singh on September 22, 2010 but "the same was not provided by him (V K Singh) to the investigating agency despite efforts."

The CBI also claimed that before the alleged bribe offer was made, Tejinder Singh and V K Singh had "excellent working relations." "General V K Singh on July 25, 2010 (on request of Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh) had issued a letter to S S Menon, national security advisor, recommending Lt Gen (retd)

Tejinder Singh for the post of the chief of national technical research organisation. This proves that the then COAS (V K Singh) and Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh had excellent working relations till the alleged offer of bribe was made by him to the COAS," the charge sheet had said.

 "However, after the date on which the bribe was allegedly offered, these two officers have not been in touch. This is another circumstance to prove some unpleasant interaction on the date the offer was made," it had claimed.

The agency had alleged that the complaint and statement given by V K Singh was "duly corroborated" by the chain of circumstances which proved that Tejinder Singh had offered him bribe of Rs 14 crore to clear file relating to Tatra trucks.

The CBI had also said that on September 22, 2010, the decision on the file relating to procurement of Tatra trucks was pending as V K Singh had sought comments of various senior officers on it. "Therefore, there were cogent reasons for a conspiracy to be hatched to get the file of Tatra trucks cleared from COAS," it had said.

A case was lodged by the CBI against Tejinder Singh on October 19, 2012 following complaint by V K Singh.

Image: Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh

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