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Jul 20, 2012 at 11:49am IST

Defamation case: General VK Singh, other Army officers get bail

New Delhi: Former Army chief General VK Singh was on Friday granted bail in the defamation case filed against him by a former military intelligence chief, Lieutenant General (retired) Tejinder Singh.

Lt Gen Tejinder Singh had contended that General Singh had defamed him by claiming in a press release that he offered the chief a bribe of Rs 14 crore.

Along with him, serving officers Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen SK Singh, Maj Gen SL Narshiman, Lt Col Hitten Sawhney were also granted bail by the Patiala House court. The officers had to sign a bond of Rs 20,000.

The court on June 8 directed them to appear before it, saying they have been "summoned as accused in the present matter".

Tejinder Singh had alleged that the March 5 press release of the Army had accused him of offering a bribe to the erstwhile Army Chief to clear a deal of 600 trucks, a charge refuted by him.

The court had earlier directed the Defence Ministry to place before it the file related to the issuance of the March 5 press release to ascertain whether or not the five persons accused of defaming Tejinder Singh had any role in it.

The press release had blamed Tejinder Singh, former chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency, and some disgruntled serving officers of the Military Intelligence of planting story in the media relating to purported tapping of some sensitive phones in the capital.

Earlier, the court had said that it was "prima facie" satisfied that the March 5 press release was "defamatory" as "ex-facie" serious allegation of "bribery" has been made against Tejinder Singh, who had a long and distinguished career in the Army.

Meanwhile, sources said that the complainant's lawyer will provide all the documents and evidence to the accused in the case as they said they did not have a copy of them. It was on the basis of this evidence that summons were issued to them.

Lt Gen Tejinder Singh has undertaken to supply the copies on or before the next day of hearing, which is August 8.

(With additional information from PTI)