New Delhi: In the latest battle between Lt General Tejinder Singh and Army Chief, the former has moved the Supreme Court against General V K Singh, accusing him of phone tapping. He has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the alleged illegal phone tapping at the behest of the Army Chief.
Lt General Singh has asked the court to seize and search the office of General Singh in connection with the case. He has further said that close relatives of the Army Chief must also be probed to recover any illegal phone tap records.
This comes days after Army Chief General VK Singh accused Lt General Tejinder Singh of offering him bribe of Rs 14 crore for purchase of sub-standard Tatra trucks. Following the complaint by the Army Chief, the CBI initiated a probe into the matter. It has also questioned General Singh in connection with the case.
Lt General Tejinder Singh has already filed a criminal defamation case against General VK and four other senior Army officers in the Patiala House Court of New Delhi. Besides General VK Singh, he has also named Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General SK Singh, Lieutenant General BS Thakur (Director General Military Intelligence), Major General SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lieutenant Colonel Hitten Sawhney.
The company that manufactures Tatra truck has, however, denied any bribe offer to the Army Chief and dismissed the allegation that Lt General Tejinder Singh was associated with the company.
The role Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), which assembles and supplies Tatra trucks to the defence forces, is also being investigated following the bribery allegations. BEML CMD VRS Natarajan has been questioned by the CBI in connection with the controversy over the deal to supply the all-terrian Tatra trucks to the Army. The CBI is investigating the BEML-Tatra deal following General VK Singh's allegations.
The CBI has also registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating against Ravi Rishi, the chief of Vectra which is the majority shareholder in Tatra, unnamed officials of BEML and officials of the Ministry of Defence and the Army for violating Defence Procurement procedures in buying military vehicles. Rishi has been questioned eight times by the CBI.
A money laundering case has been registered against Rishi and his firms by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe alleged generation of illegal funds in the defence deal between Tatra Sipox UK and BEML.
The first agreement for the supply for Tatra all terrain truck used for the transport of soldiers, heavy machinery, missile systems among others was signed with the Czechoslovakia-based company Tatra in 1986.
In 1997, BEML started procuring trucks through Tatra Sipox UK, claimed to be the marketing arm of Tatra, in which Ravinder Rishi had a substantial stake.
The CBI has alleged that since Tatra Sipox UK was not the original manufacturer of these all terrain trucks, the rule that defence procurements should be made from original manufacturer was violated.