Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh was today sent to jail by a Delhi court which denied him bail in a case of alleged bribe offer to then Army Chief Gen V K Singh for clearing Tatra vehicles file, saying no "mercy" should be shown only because he was not arrested during the probe.
Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain dismissed the bail plea filed by 64-year-old Tejinder Singh, who appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued to him, observing that law of land should be equal for all.
"The law of land should be equal for all and if a person who commits a theft of Rs 1,000 is sent to the jail under the provisions of law without any mercy, then a person who was holding the rank of Lt Gen in the Indian Army and who retired from this post and offered a bribe of Rs 14 crores to the then Army General should not be shown any mercy by the court merely for the reason that investigation agency did not arrest him during the whole investigation," the judge said.
As soon as the order was pronounced at around 2.20 pm, the judge ordered that Tejinder be taken into custody after which the CBI officers present there arrested him and took him to the lock up inside the court premises. He was remanded to judicial custody till October 20.
The judge, in her two-page order, also referred to the recorded proceedings of Parliament where the then Defence Minister A K Antony had raised this issue.
"Not only there is statement of then General (retd) V K Singh but also there is recorded proceedings of Parliament of India where this issue was raised. Hence, no ground for bail to applicant Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh. His application is dismissed," the judge said and fixed the matter for arguments on framing of charges on October 20.
CBI had filed a charge sheet against Tejinder alleging that he had offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to then Chief of Army Staff (COAS) V K Singh for clearing file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 heavy mobility Tatra vehicles.
The court had taken cognisance of the CBI's charge sheet on August 28 after relying upon the statements of A K Antony, V K Singh and other witnesses whose testimonies were recorded by the agency during the probe.
During the day, Tejinder appeared before the court and moved a bail plea arguing that he was not arrested by CBI and he had fully co-operated during the probe.
His lawyer told the court that there was no apprehension of tampering of evidence in the case and Tejinder was falsely implicated due to political pressure.
Countering the submissions of the defence counsel, CBI's senior prosecutor V K Sharma said that while granting bail, court should look into the nature and seriousness of offence and the alleged offer of Rs 14 crore bribe to the then COAS was not a "small offence".
Sharma further said that no leniency should be shown to the accused as he was holding one of the senior-most positions in the Army.
He also argued that at the time of bail, larger interest of public and state should be considered by the court.
The judge, after hearing the arguments, rejected the bail plea saying, "In my view, the submissions of senior PP for CBI bears force."
Meanwhile, CBI supplied the copy of charge sheet and other documents to Tejinder.
The CBI in its charge sheet had alleged that in August- September 2010, the file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 Tatra vehicles was pending before V K Singh, who is now a Minister of State of External Affairs and Minister of State in-charge of Department of Northeast Region.
The then COAS was not convinced with the total projected requirement of the vehicles and it appeared to him that the requirement has been inflated, the agency had said, adding V K Singh had sought fresh opinion on the issue from different quarters.
In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that Tejinder met V K Singh in his office in South Block on September 22, 2010, and during the meeting, he offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to V K Singh for clearing the file of Tatra vehicles by first week of October.
V K Singh got infuriated and asked Tejinder to immediately leave his office and he, thereafter, intimated Antony about the incident of bribe being offered to him, CBI had said.
A case was lodged by CBI against Tejinder on October 19, 2012 following a complaint by V K Singh.
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