Court dismisses former army chief’s plea


New Delhi: Former army chief V.K. Singh’s plea seeking a change in the nature of trial of the defamation case against him was dismissed by a Delhi court Tuesday.

Support TwoCircles

Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja dismissed the application.

The court was hearing a defamation case filed against the former army chief by Lt. Gen. (retd) Tejinder Singh.

“In my view, no useful purpose is likely to be served by converting the present summons case into a warrant case and subjecting the complainant and his uninitiated (about army’s internal procedure) witnesses to a dual examination by the advocates for the accused,” the court said.

A warrant case means a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years. The rest are broadly called summons case. The two differ in terms of the trial procedure.

The court was hearing a defamation case filed by Tejinder Singh against the former army chief and four other officers for allegedly making libellous statements against him to the media and accusing him of bribery in an all-terrain truck purchase deal of the army.

Alleging that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him, Tejinder Singh named Army Vice Chief Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh, Director General Military Intelligence Lt. Gen. B.S. Thakur, Additional Director General Public Information Maj. Gen. S.L. Narsimhan and Directorate General of Public Information Staff Officer Lt. Col. Hitten Sawhney.

Former army chief V.K.Singh had disclosed in a press release that he was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore by a retired defence officer in exchange for clearing a tranche of 600 all-terrain Tatra trucks for the army, which he described as sub-standard.

Denying all the allegations, Tejinder Singh had said that in the press release of March 5 the army headquarters publicly accused him and a group of serving officers of the military intelligence of conspiring to create a rift between the army chief and the government.