Free Press Journal

CBI officers differed on filing charge sheet in Tatra case


Tejinder Singh

New Delhi: There was a difference of opinion between CBI officers on filing charge sheet against Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh in connection with alleged bribe offer made to then army chief V K Singh in connection with Tatra vehicle deal.

Highly-placed sources said although there was a difference of opinion among the officers, the circumstantial evidence were enough to indicate that the alleged bribe offer was made to Singh for clearing files of all-terrain vehicles from Tatra.

While the officers probing the case were of the view that the charge sheet could be filed, the seniors said there was not enough evidence to file the charge sheet and the case could be closed.

The sources said it was Director CBI Ranjit Sinha who felt that based on circumstantial evidence a charge sheet could be filed and it would be for the trial court to proceed further.

They said since it was a closed-room conversation it was difficult to get hard evidence but the chain of events which followed indicated the alleged offence having been committed.

The sources said the compact disc provided by then army chief was also not very helpful.

The evidence that guards were told by V K Singh not to let Tejinder Singh in his office again, the testimony given by the then Defence Minister A K Antony that he was informed about this incident, withdrawal of recommendation for appointment of Tejinder Singh at NTRO–all indicated that the alleged bribe offer could have been made in the army chief’s office.

They said it will now depend on V K Singh to defend the charges levelled by him in his complaint before the court during the trial as the agency found no reason to disbelive him.

CBI has filed a charge sheet on the basis of available circumstantial evidence naming Tejinder Singh who has rejected all the charges against him.

“My interaction with the agency clearly indicated that there was no credible evidence found. Now with the change of government, there seems to be a change of heart in the probe agency and therefore the filing of chargesheet is abuse of power by the people concerned and politically motivated,” Tejinder Singh said.

Rejecting the accusation, CBI sources said although there was no hard evidence, there were enough cirumstantial evidence to file the charge sheet.

A case was registered against Tejinder Singh on October 19, 2012 following a complaint by Gen V K Singh who is now Minister of State of External Affairs and Minister of State incharge of Department of Northeast Region.

The then Army Chief had alleged that Tejinder Singh offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crores on September 22, 2010 on behalf of Tatra truck supplier for clearing the file for procurement of 1,676 Tatra HMVs (High Mobility Vehicles) for the Indian Army.