Army ex-chief faces court, granted bail in defamation case
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) In a first for a four-star defence officer, former army chief Gen. V.K. Singh Friday appeared before a Delhi court in a defamation case filed by another retired officer and was granted bail along with four other serving officers.
Gen. V.K. Singh, who retired May 31 this year after a four-decade army service, appeared in person before Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja in the defamation case filed by retired officer, Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh.
Besides the former army chief, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh and two other top serving officers also appeared in court.
Granting bail to these accused officers, Thareja asked them to furnish personal bonds of Rs.20,000 each.
"All the accused have entered appearance. Since they are retired and serving army officers, they are admitted to bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs.20,000 each," the magistrate said.
All the five officers moved their bail applications Friday.
Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh had filed a case against the former army chief and others for allegedly making libellous statements against him to the media and accusing him of bribery.
Alleging that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him, Tejinder Singh had also named Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh, Director General of Military Intelligence; Lt. Gen. B.S. Thakur, Additional Director General Public Information; Maj. Gen. S.L. Narsimhan; and Col. Hitten Sawhney, Additional Directorate General of Public Information officer.
The army headquarters, under these officers, had disclosed in a press release March 5 that the then army chief was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore by a retired defence officer in exchange for clearing a tranche of 600 army trucks, which were claimed to be "sub-standard".
Denying all the allegations, Tejinder Singh had said that in the press release, the army headquarters publicly accused him and a group of serving officers of the Military Intelligence (MI) of conspiring to create a rift between the army chief and the government.
The army said the "fabricated fiction" was put out by a group of disgruntled serving officers of the MI working in connivance with a retired lieutenant general who had headed the Defence Intelligence Agency.
Lt.Gen. Tejinder Singh filed a defamation case against the officers March 27.
--Indo-Asian News Service
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