New Delhi: Army Chief General VK Singh on Friday replied to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) and confirmed the bribe offer by a lobbyist to clear the supply of a tranche of sub-standard vehicle for the Army. General Singh also says in the response that he will give more details soon.
Surprisingly, no bribe amount has been mentioned in the complaint
Singh, who had made the allegation in a media interview that forced the Defence Minister to order a CBI inquiry, told the agency in a letter on Friday that there was a bribe offer from a lobbyist but did not give details of the amount or the name of the person who made the offer, CBI sources said.
A preliminary enquiry or an FIR could be registered soon after completion of the procedural requirements.
The Army Chief had claimed in media interviews that an equipment lobbyist had offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore, a matter which he had reported to Defence Minister A K Antony.
The Ministry had then recommended a CBI probe into the allegation made by the Army chief..
A day after Defence Minister AK Antony extended an olive branch, the Army Chief in a fresh statement earlier on Friday tried to douse the controversy.
General Singh said,"There were rogue elements trying to create a rift between the government and the Army. There was no battle between the armed forces and the Government of India and the Army and the Chief were very much a part of it."
To those questioning the timing of the controversy, he added the bribery row was revived only because the person in question resurfaced in March.
Lt General Tejinder Singh hit back at General VK Singh's allegations and told CNN-IBN,"General VK Singh has regrettably issued a statement insinuating that I have been causing a schism between the Defence Minister and him. The Defence Minister has more than 40 years of service. This is an insult to political leadership of the country that I am creating schism."
Singh added that the statement of General Singh is that of a frustrated man and he is hitting at all and sundry.
"I am a soft target and cannot match his resources He has a two months left, I pray him peace in these two months," said Lt General Tejinder Singh.
An Army press release on March 5 had claimed that Lieutenant General (retired) Tejinder Singh had tried to influence the Army Chief and offered him bribe to clear the purchase of sub-standard vehicles for the forces.
"Institutional corrective steps were taken earlier after talks with Defence Ministry AK Antony. Selective leaks culminated in airing of letter to the Prime Minister. We are duty bound to serve country and protect the integrity of the Army even if we sometimes have to look within. We need to look within the confines of the system and law. Frivolous and uninformed comments should not be made on military matters," said General Singh.