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Defamation case: HC notice to Gen V K Singh, 4 others

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today issued notice to ex-Army Chief Gen V K Singh among others on a plea of former Defence Intelligence Agency head Lt Gen Tejinder Singh against a lower court
PTI January 06, 2014 21:10 IST
PTI
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today issued notice to ex-Army Chief Gen V K Singh among others on a plea of former Defence Intelligence Agency head Lt Gen Tejinder Singh against a lower court order asking him to seek sanction to prosecute them in a criminal defamation case.  

Besides the former Army chief, Justice Sunil Gaur also sought responses from then Vice Chief of Army S K Singh, retired Lt Gen D S Thakur (the then DG of Military Intelligence), Major Gen S L Narshiman (ADG of Public Information) and Col Hitten Sawhney.  

Tejinder Singh, who is pursuing the defamation complaint against Singh and others, moved the high court after a metropolitan magistrate on December 9 asked him to first approach the central government for grant of sanction to prosecute.

The lower court had also clarified that if the government fails to grant or refuse sanction to prosecute within the stipulated period then it would amount to deemed sanction.  

Tejinder Singh's counsel Anil Aggarwal said the magistrate though held that accused, being governed by the Army Act and the Defence Technical Publicity Rules, were prohibited from directly interacting with the media, but wrongly concluded that the issuance of press release was part of their official duty.

“On the one hand the trial court is holding that their act of issuing the press release is against the law. On the other hand, it is saying it can be purported to be in discharge of official duty. Can something against the law ever be part of official duty,” he asked.

Tejinder had filed a private defamation case against Singh and four others alleging he was defamed by the Army through its press release issued on March 5, last year which accused him of offering a bribe of Rs 14 crore to the then Army Chief to clear a deal of 600 trucks, a charge refuted by him.