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Tehelka: Three officers in dock

May 18, 2004 23:58 IST

With the exit of Defence Minister George Fernandes, army officials on Tuesday said three senior army officers -- Major General P S K Choudhary, Brigadier Iqbal Singh and Colonel Anil Sehgal -- had been found 'culpable' of various acts of omission and commission in the Tehelka case.

"The disciplinary proceedings against all the three army officers involved in the Tehelka case are in advanced stages of completion," an army spokesman said in New Delhi.

He said the Initial Court of Inquiry and Summary of Evidence had been recorded in all the three cases.

The case stems from the March 2001 expose by tehelka.com of corruption in the defence ministry, involving several senior army officers as also Fernandes and Jaya Jaitley, president of the Samata Party to which the defence minister belongs.

Fernandes claimed at the time that the expose was a conspiracy to besmirch his reputation and that of the ruling BJP-led NDA government. He resigned to 'ensure the morale of the army was not damaged', but was later reinstated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The army has already launched General Court Martial Proceedings against Col Sehgal, while those against Gen (now retired) Choudhary is to commence from May 24.

The spokesman said that in case of Brig Iqbal Singh, court martial proceedings had been held in abeyance as the officer had filed a case in the Delhi High Court challenging the disciplinary action against him.

Further action against Brig Iqbal will be initiated on directions of the high court, which will take up the case on July 26.

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