Five days before his controversial 26-month tenure as Army Chief comes to an end, General V. K. Singh on Saturday criticised the Defence Ministry for “selectively leaking” information to “fix” him.
In a series of interviews to TV channels, the General also made no secret of his unhappiness with the Supreme Court where he lost a legal battle over his age in February. In an apparent reference to a remark by Justice R.M. Lodha, one of the two judges on the Bench that heard his case, the Army Chief said a very senior apex court judge had told him to “blow with the wind.”
“If all of us are going to blow with the wind then we will all become muggers, we will all become corrupt,” he said, according to a transcript of his interview released by the Times Now channel.
Justice Lodha had actually remarked, “Wise men are those who move with the wind. We take pride in having [an] officer like you. Credit must go to you.”
In a separate interview to CNN-IBN, the Army Chief said he had withdrawn his petition on the age issue because the Supreme Court gave no decision. “They tried to arbitrate. Then I realised that you are fighting a system.”
During the interviews, Gen. Singh said it was not “just lobbies” working against him, but “some people are trying to protect people who are basically doing wrong things.”
Turning on the Defence Ministry, he said papers related to his age were “illegitimately” released. Some papers that should never have been released under RTI rules were released and these included a couple of pages which the Ministry itself had labelled “top secret.”
Asked if he was saying that he had been set up, the General replied, “obviously.”
When pressed to state who was releasing the information, Gen. Singh said it was the Ministry. “Absolutely,” the General answered when asked whether he was saying that information was being selectively leaked to “fix you.”
Barely concealing his anger over the leakage of his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complaining of deficiencies and shortages in the Army, the General said this was a “treasonable act.”
He then referred to a PTI story, denied by the government, that a Joint Secretary-level officer in the Cabinet Secretariat had been held responsible for the leak.
The General said PTI did not “manufacture” stories on its own. “So somebody must have told them, somebody authoritative enough.” The leakage was done “with a purpose to create an impression that Gen. V.K. Singh is leaking it,” he said, adding, somebody within the government “had some agenda.” — PTI