From last 24 hours Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh, former Defence Intelligence Agency chief who retired two years ago, is one of the most searched keywords on search engines and social networks. He is in media limelight due to extremely controversial and negative reasons. He allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to Army Chief General V K Singh in order to ensure procurement of sub-standard trucks by the army. However, Gen Singh has completely denied any involvement and threatened legal action against the army general.
In an interview with The Hindu published on March,26 2012 Army Chief Vijay Kumar Singh said a lobbyist, whom he did not identify but was suggested elsewhere to be retired Lieutenant-General Tejinder Singh, offered him a bribe of Rs. 14 crore in order to have a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles of a particular make cleared for purchase.
He also said that he informed the defence minister A. K. Antony about this incident. The army chief followed section 317 of the Defence Services Regulations of 1986, which make it “the duty of every officer to bring to the notice of his superior, and if the superior is involved, then to the next superior officer, all cases of dishonesty.
Defence Minister, Mr. A K Antony also accepted that he was informed by General V K Singh about the bribe offer by Lt Gen Tejinder Singh. The minister has reiterated that the CBI(Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry has been ordered into the incident, and assured that the guilty won’t be spared at any cost, regardless of his/her stature.
Now the big question: Was the bribe offered to Army Chief General VK Singh due to his opposition to all-terrain Tatra vehicles that are being used by the Indian army? Singh was reportedly opposed to the continuation of a 2010 deal signed by the army to include 788 more vehicles, deeming the vehicle to be ‘substandard’ and ‘exorbitant’.
Tejinder Singh has told the media that he did meet Army Chief VK Singh once on a personal matter in 2011. But there was no talk of any defence deal and neither did he represent Tatra or lobby for it. He says he has already filed a defamation suit against Singh.