Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"But now our requirements have changed, and the facts have changed behind us": CBI's U-Turn On Ex-Army Chief VK Singh's Bribery Charge

"But now our requirements have changed, and the facts have changed behind us" 
Hilary Mantel, in Bring Up the Bodies

In a complete turnaround of the stand it took a year ago, the CBI now says it has evidence that substantiates former army chief General VK Singh's allegation that he was offered a 14-crore bribe to clear the purchase of heavy-duty Tatra trucks for the military. The retired General is now a union minister in the BJP governmentIn August last year, when the previous government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in power, the CBI had said there was no proof of the charge made by General Singh in 2012, just before the expiry of his term as army commander. However, in a chargesheet filed last week, the CBI indicates its decision to move ahead with the case. "No case is 100 per cent for chargesheet. But because the complainant here is Chief of Army staff, we decided to file it," said the CBI's top man, director Ranjit Sinha.

While he was army commander, General Singh and the government shared a deeply fractious relationship. He alleged that Defence Minister AK Antony had not taken any action after being told about the offer of the bribe, allegedly made in 2010 by retired officer Tejinder Singh. The CBI's chargesheet rests heavily on the statement of Mr Antony, who acknowledged that General Singh had briefed him about the alleged offer for kickbacks

General Singh claimed to have recorded the offer, but the CBI says that the tape furnished did not match the allegations. Sources say that a series of investigating officers assigned to the case did not want a chargesheet to be filed against Lt Gen (retired) Tejinder Singh because they felt there was not enough evidence, but the CBI director over-ruled them. "Ultimately, it is the director's decision," Mr Sinha said. The agency has submitted a list of 20 witnesses in the case - including Mr Antony, General VK Singh, then joint secretary in the Prime Minister's Office Dheeraj Gupta, and then adviser to the prime minister, TKA Nair.


see also
Ex-contractor facing CBI probe is V K Singh’s ‘political attache’

The BJP and Justice, Chapter 2: Ishrat Encounter Cop Reinstated // Muzzafarnagar Riot accused becomes Union minister