Neeraj Chauhan, TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 01.36AM IST
NEW DELHI: Army chief General V K Singh has told CBI officials that the day Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh came to visit him in his South Block office (September 22, 2010) and made a bribery offer of Rs 14 crore, the file relating to purchase of Tatra trucks was lying on his table.
Sources said the agency is probing the likelihood of some “black sheep” in Army Headquarters or the Army chief’s office tipping off Lt Gen Tejinder Singh that the Tatra file was awaiting Gen Singh’s clearance and whether that prompted the retired lieutenant general to pay the chief a visit.
The CBI, which is likely to question Lt Gen Singh this week, is also poring over his call records to ascertain if someone called him on that day to inform him about the Tatra file. Agency sources said the call records would also prove if Lt Gen Singh was in touch with Vectra chief Ravi Rishi either before or after his meeting with the Army chief.
Gen Singh has also told CBI officials that when he saw the number of trucks to be procured mentioned on the Tatra file, he called up all his commands to know about their requirement and “the requirement of Army commands was way less than what was mentioned on the file”. CBI sources believe a section in the Army Headquarters which was lobbying for Tatra trucks could have facilitated the file’s movement up to the chief’s office.
After seeing such a large number of Tatra trucks mentioned in the file, the Army chief had cancelled the deal, sources said. CBI officials refused to give details of the requirement mentioned on the file. “The number of trucks required mentioned on file were much higher than the actual requirement by all the commands of the Army,” said a top source.
These facts were given by Gen Singh to a CBI team on Friday when it recorded his statement. The agency has already found the record of Lt Gen Tejinder Singh’s visit on that day from the visitor’s register. The Army chief has also provided several documents, which suggest that Tatra trucks were wrongly favoured.
The Army chief has assured CBI of providing more evidence soon.
In another development, after fresh revelations of Rishi and his family members being the beneficiaries of Hemang Foundation, a trust based in Liechtenstein which fully controls Tatra Sipox (UK), the CBI on Monday again questioned Rishi at its headquarters. The agency also quizzed Vectra group executive Anil Mansaramani.