ibnlive » India

Jun 08, 2012 at 09:22pm IST

Defamation case: Ex-Army chief to depose on July 20

New Delhi: In a setback for former Army chief General VK Singh, he, along with four other top serving officers of the Indian Army have been summoned by a Delhi court on July 20. The court ruled that there was sufficient material to proceed against them in a criminal defamation case filed by Lieutenant General (retired) Tejinder Singh.

This is the first time that top ranking officials of the Indian Army have been called to court. And at the centre of the controversy is a press release dated March 5 sent by the Army headquarters with allegations that Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh offered bribe to the Army chief to buy sub-standard Tatra trucks, that he was questioned on the purchase of air monitoring equipment, that he already had a flat in the tainted Aadarsh Housing Society and that he planted a 'fictitious' story about the Army chief ordering phone snooping in North and South Block.

The court found the press release to be defamatory and it went through the secret file of the Ministry of Defence to asertain the chain of command.

In response to the court summons to the former Army chief, Lt Gen Singh said, "It is not a victory or anything... the matter is subjudice."

However, it is also to be noted that while summoning, the court completely rejected the charge of criminal conspiracy.

Nevertheless, the two generals have been involved in a public spat. A parallel CBI enquiry is on and Lt Gen Singh has already been questioned in the matter. It remains to be seen whether the Army will now appeal against this order or face the General head on.