Delhi HC refuses to ask govt to withdraw Army press release
New Delhi, May 24 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to direct the Centre to take back a press release of the Army alleging that Lt Gen (retired) Tejinder Singh offered a bribe to the Army Chief in connection with a defence deal.
"The Union of India cannot be directed to disown or retract the aforesaid press release," Justice Mukta Gupta said while disposing off a petition by Lt. Gen.Tejinder Singh seeking withdrawal of the alleged defamatory press release.
The court also considered the reply of the Ministry of Defence that it had no role in the issuance of March 5 press release as it was given out by the Army Headquarters.
The court, however, said that Lt. Gen.Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings against five Army officials, including Chief of Army Staff General V K Singh.
"Taking disciplinary action is part and parcel of the disciplinary authority. In case a representation is made for taking the action, the same would be considered by the authorities concerned," Justice Gupta said.
Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh had approached the high court seeking withdrawal of the press release of the Army on the ground that it had violated his fundamental right to reputation.
However, the court did not agree with the plea after the Centre made it clear that it was not responsible for the actions of some Army officials.
"It is a service matter and such kind of petition against the government is not maintainable," Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok said during the arguments.
Earlier, the court had asked Lt. Gen.Tejinder Singh to establish that the right to reputation falls under the ambit of the fundamental rights of the Constitution and also that how his plea is maintainable against the state. (ANI)
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