Army chief names Tejinder to CBI

Army chief names Tejinder to CBI

Investigating agency to decide on probe after examining evidence

A day after registering a case for alleged irregularities in supply of all-terrain Tatra trucks to the Army, the CBI is likely to question retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh in connection with the claim of Army chief Gen V K Singh that he was offered a bribe to clear a tranche of nearly 600 trucks.

The CBI is examining the letter it received from the Army chief on Friday, wherein he has confirmed that bribe was offered to him by a retired Lt Gen and lobbyist, to clear “sub-standard” trucks.

The country’s premier investigating agency will soon register either a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) or a Regular Case (RC) after examining the reply received from the Army chief, and then, will proceed with the investigation, sources said.

“At the moment, we’re examining the reply that we got from the Army chief,” a senior official from the agency told Deccan Herald. The CBI registers a PE or RC depending on the contents of the complaint. If a complaint indicates serious misconduct but is not adequate to justify registration of an RC, the agency files a PE.  A PE is converted into RC as soon as sufficient material is available to show that at prima facie there has been commission of a cognizable offence. However, if the information available is adequate to indicate commission of cognizable offence, an RC is registered by the agency instead of a PE.

In this matter, the CBI has neither registered PE or RC till now. It may write to the Army chief seeking his permission to acquire more information and go ahead with its investigation, sources said.

Asked if the agency will be questioning Tejinder Singh in the case, who, according to some reports, has been named by the  Army chief in his letter, the official said: “Yes, we may question him, or others as well, depending on our investigation.”

In interviews given to the media, Gen Singh claimed 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.

Antony recommended a CBI probe into the issue after claims made by the Army chief created political uproar in Parliament.

After receiving reference from the Defence Ministry, the CBI had asked it to make available a complaint from the Army chief.

The agency had also written a letter to the Ministry seeking all files related to the controversial truck deal; it is understood to have been looking into the purchases made since 1987, sources said.

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