Tatra truck case: Tejinder Singh taken into custody, moves HC
Lt. Gen. (retd) Tejinder Singh was Monday taken into custody after a court rejected his bail plea over allegations that he offered bribe to then army chief Gen. V.K. Singh for clearing "sub-standard" Tatra trucks for the army.
Tejinder Singh later moved the Delhi High Court challenging the trial court order.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special judge Madhu Jain dismissed Tejinder Singh's bail plea and ordered that he be taken into custody.
Delhi High Court judge Justice Pratibha Rani will Tuesday hear his plea challenging the trial court order of sending him to judicial custody till Oct 20.
The CBI judge Monday noted that Tejinder Singh was holding the rank of Lt. General in the Indian Army, retired from the post and offered a bribe of Rs.14 crore to then army general.
The court said he should not be shown any mercy merely for the reasons that the investigation agency did not arrest him during the whole probe.
Tejinder Singh appeared in the CBI court following summons issued Aug 28.
Senior Public Prosecutor V.K. Sharma, countering his bail plea, argued that the law of land was equal for all and if a small thief is sent to jail under the provisions of law, then no leniency should be shown to a person who retired from the rank of Lt. General in the Indian Army.
Tejinder Singh offering a bribe of Rs.14 crore was not a small offence, the judge said.
"In my view, the submission of the senior public prosecutor for CBI bears force," the court said.
The court observed that there was a statement by V.K. Singh and the recorded proceedings of parliament where this issue was raised.
"Hence no ground for bail to applicant Lt. Gen. (retd) Tejinder Singh. His application is dismissed," the court said in its order.
However, Tejinder Singh's counsel requested the court to release his client on bail and said that during the entire investigation, he was never arrested by the CBI and fully cooperated with the probe.
The court, while taking cognizance of the chargesheet, relied upon the statement of prosecution witnesses, former defence minister A.K. Antony, V.K. Singh and others.
It said there was sufficient evidence to take cognizance of the offence.
Earlier, Antony had admitted that V.K. Singh informed him about the bribe offered by Tejinder Singh for approving the trucks, the CBI said.
On July 15, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Tejinder Singh.
In March 2012, V.K. Singh alleged that he was offered Rs.14 crore for clearing a tranche of 1,676 Tatra High Mobility Vehicles for the army.
He alleged that Tejinder Singh met him in August-September 2010, and offered him the money on behalf of Vectra Group chief Ravi Rishi to clear the file for procurement of the Tatra trucks. The CBI filed a case against him in October 2012.
(Posted on 01-09-2014)