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Criminal defamation case: Delhi court summons Gen VK Singh, four others

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has summoned former Army Chief VK Singh and four top-serving officers in acriminal defamation case filed by retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh.

Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja ordered VK Singh, Vice-Chief of Army Staff SK Singh, Lt Gen BS Thakur (DGMI), Major General SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney to appear in court on July 20.

Tejinder Singh filed the defamation case after VK Singh had alleged in an interview in March that he was offered a 14-crore bribe by the former to clear the purchase of 600 Tatra trucks from BEML. Tejinder Singh accused the five officers of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him. He had filed the complaint alleging he was defamed by the Army through its press release issued on March 5.

The court said on Friday the summons were only for the alleged offence of defamation. “However, it is made clear that the accused are not being summoned qua the allegation of hatching a criminal conspiracy against the complainant (Tejinder Singh).

Upon appreciating the entire evidence and material produced before this court, the allegation regarding hatching of a criminal conspiracy by respondents appears to be absurd and without any foundation. The accused are only being summoned qua offence as described under Section 499 (defamation) read with Section 35 (act done with criminal knowledge or intention) of the IPC,” the magistrate said.

The court directed Tejinder Singh to file a process fee along with copies of the complaint and documents within a week of the re-opening of the court on June 21. “Upon filing of the process fee, copies of the complaints and the documents, the accused shall be summoned for July 20,” the court said.

The court had earlier directed the defence ministry to place before it the file related to the issuance of the March 5 press release to ascertain whether or not the five persons accused of defaming Tejinder Singh had any role in it.

The press release blamed Tejinder Singh, former chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency, and some ‘disgruntled’ serving officers of the Military Intelligence for ‘planting’ a report in the media relating to purported tapping of some sensitive phones in the capital.

The file pertaining to the press release was submitted to the court by defence ministry’s under secretary R Sunder. The court had also recorded his statement during an in-camera proceeding in which he said some of the documents placed were “privileged.”

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Posted by on Jun 9 2012. Filed under Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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