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'Recording of 'bribe' offer to former army chief not clear'

Source: PTI
August 19, 2013 16:58 IST
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The recording device handed over by the then Army Chief V K Singh, purported to carry a conversation relating to bribe offer made to him, is malfunctioning and nothing can be retrieved from it, says CBI.

Quoting a forensic report, highly placed sources in the CBI said some noise came out of the device and nothing was audible after which it was sent for examination at the Central Forensic and Scientific Laboratory.

The forensic experts tried to retrieve data from the recording device which was provided by the then Army Chief as an evidence of the alleged bribe offer of R. 14 crore made to him by a senior retired officer to clear a tranche of 600 all terrain trucks.

They said despite trying various techniques, the experts could not manage to retrieve data from the device, which was claimed to be an important piece of evidence by Singh in support of his complaint.

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

Vishwajeet Singh, counsel for Gen (retd) Singh, told PTI that the recording device had some problems and the CBI had said that it would try to retrieve the data.

“May be it was lying with the CBI for sometime and the data was further corrupted," the former Army Chief's lawyer said.

This has almost dashed CBI's hopes of making any progress in the case and the agency may now approach the courts with a closure report.

CBI had registered a case on October 19, 2012, after carrying out preliminary enquiry for nearly six months. Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh was named by the CBI as an accused under Prevention of Corruption Act, as charges were levelled against him by V K Singh in his complaint.

Tejinder had denied all charges levelled against him and also filed a defamation case against the former chief.

The agency had also carried out searches at the Kailash Colony residence of Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi, also a Director in Tatra Sipox UK which supplied all-terrain trucks to BEML for giving them to the army, and that of Tejinder at Safdarjung Enclave in south Delhi, they said.

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