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Defamation case: High Court seeks reply from four Army officers on Tejinder Singh's plea

New Delhi The Delhi High Court has sought responses from four serving Army officers on a plea filed by Lieutenant General (retd) Tejinder Singh against the trial court order, which had exempted the officers' from personal appearance in a defamation case filed by him.

Issuing a notice to Lieutenant General SK Singh, Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General DS Thakur, Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI), Major General SL Narshiman, Additional Director General of Public Information Colonel Hitten Sawhney, Justice PK Bhasin sought their responses by February 15, 2013.

Tejinder Singh moved the High Court against the trial court's September 19 order that allowed the officers' plea to exempt them from personal appearance on the ground that  they are public servants performing public duty and their personal attendance before the court will hinder due discharge of their public duty.

The petitioner had filed a defamation case before the trial court against former Army Chief General VK Singh and four serving army officers for allegedly making libellous statements against him to the media and accusing him of bribery in an all-terrain truck purchase deal of the Army.

He alleged these officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him. He had alleged he was defamed by the Army through its press release issued on March 5 which accused him of offering a bribe of Rs 14 crore to the then Army Chief to clear a deal of 600 Tatra trucks, a charge refuted by him.

Denying all the allegations, the petitioner had said that in the press release of March 5 the army headquarters publicly accused him and a group of serving officers of the military intelligence of conspiring to create a rift between the army chief and the government.
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