A court here on Thursday reserved for May 5 its order on retired Lieutenant-General Tejinder Singh's criminal defamation complaint against Army Chief General V. K. Singh and four senior serving Army officers, after seeking clarifications on the individual roles of each of these five officers in the alleged conspiracy to defame him.
The other officers named co-accused in the complaint are Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lt. General S. K. Singh, Director of General Military Intelligence Lt. General B. S. Thakur, Additional Director General of Public Information in the Army Headquarters Major General S. L. Narasimhan, and another officer in the Public Information Department Lt. Col. Hitten Sawhney.
Lt. General Tejinder Singh's counsel Anil K. Aggarwal claimed that the five accused, in their replies to the legal notices issued on them, had “not denied their role” in sending the March 5 press release. After explaining the chain of command which linked the five officers to the sending of the press release, Mr. Aggarwal said the release was a “private communication” and violated the norms for issuing press releases.
“It wasn't an official communication. It's an abuse of power and official position. A private communication was given the colour of an official communication,” said Mr. Aggarwal, who began his submissions, complaining that his client was being subjected to “media prosecution” as a result of the alleged conspiracy.
Reiterating his plea to summon the five Army officers, the counsel also referred to Defence Minister A. K. Antony's statement in Parliament, in which his client's name was invoked. Till date, the media is giving news on me daily, but I am defenceless. There's no forum where I can go and clear my case. Even the Defence Minister had taken my name in the Parliament... Their [accused] only purpose is to defame me [Tejinder Singh] and they have succeeded in it,” the counsel said.
Keywords: Tejinder's defamation complaint case