Neeraj Chauhan, TNN Apr 23, 2012, 02.49AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing Army chief General V K Singh’s claim that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe by Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh, has found that the “visitor’s register” of South Block has an entry showing that Lt Gen Tejinder Singh had visited the Army chief’s office on September 22, 2010.
The visitor’s entry in the register, which was taken by the CBI on Friday from South Block, has been signed by Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh and it mentions “official to meet” as Gen V K Singh.
A senior CBI officer said this was a “major evidence” to show that Lt Gen Tejinder Singh was in the Army chief’s office that day but what transpired inside the room, the alleged bribery offer, is yet to be proved. The Army chief assured CBI officials in his meeting on Friday that he would provide more evidence soon.
A CBI team had recorded Gen V K Singh’s statement in two rounds on Friday and picked up the ‘visitor’s register’. Apart from the register, the agency has also collected several documents provided by the Army chief, which reportedly include documents related to the Tatra deal and communications between the defence ministry and BEML.
Gen V K Singh had earlier this month given a written complaint to the CBI alleging that Lt Gen Tejinder Singh had come to his office on September 22, 2010 and had offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore on behalf of Vectra group chairman Ravi Rishi to clear a deal of sub-standard Tatra trucks for the Indian Army. Sources said on that day, Gen V K Singh had asked his staff to “escort him (Lt Gen Tejinder Singh) out of his office” and reportedly asked Lt Gen Tejinder Singh “not to come again”.
Refuting the allegations, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh claimed in an interview that “he used to meet Gen V K Singh frequently for professional work and that he had gone to his (Gen V K Singh’s) office in September 2010 for some personal work”. He has also filed a defamation suit against the Army chief.
The agency is probing a preliminary enquiry into the alleged bribery offer and is expected to convert it into a regular case soon. Agency sources said they might question Lt Gen Tejinder Singh next week.
The agency has also collected some evidence in its probe in the Tatra procurement scam. Gen V K Singh too has provided important documents to the agency. The CBI has already approached Interpol to get details of companies related to Ravi Rishi in at least four countries- Czech Republic, Slovakia, UK and Liechtenstein.