The Central Bureau of Investigation has recorded statements of Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Prime Minister’s Advisor T.K.A. Nair in connection with the allegations that Lieutenant-General (retired) Tejinder Singh had offered a bribe to then Army chief General V.K. Singh to approve the procurement of Tatra trucks.
About two years ago, General V.K. Singh had alleged that Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh had in September 2010 offered him Rs.14 crore in bribe to approve the purchase of over 1,600 Tatra trucks from BEML, a public sector unit.
The former Army chief also said that he had apprised the Defence Minister of the offer allegedly made by Lt. Gen. Singh.
The Defence Ministry then ordered a CBI probe into the allegations, following which the agency registered a case in October 2012. For his part, Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh denied the charges.
The former Army chief had also handed over some recorded conversations to the CBI to substantiate the charge. But, forensic experts failed to retrieve any audible voice from the audio tapes.
Confirming that witness statements of the Defence Minister and Mr. Nair — who was then posted as Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office — had been recorded, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told The Hindu that the agency was yet to decide whether there was enough evidence to proceed with further legal action in the case.