NEW DELHI: In a fresh salvo on Thursday, Army Chief General V K Singh sought a CBI probe against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, for allegedly receiving kickbacks on procurement of parachutes and night vision equipment when he was heading the Special Frontier Force.
While it is not really mandatory for the Army Chief to route his complaint to the CBI through the Defence Ministry, the lack of communication between the Army Chief and the Defence Ministry is another reflection of the deep strain in their relations.“I came to know about the complaint from the newspaper. On March 22, the Army Headquarters had sent the proposal recommending his (Suhag’s) promotion,” Defence Minister AK Antony said, a point which was later reiterated by Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma.When asked if the Defence Ministry has given a brief to the CBI to investigate the bribery allegations, the Defence Minister said the agency was directed to conduct a “comprehensive” inquiry. Insiders in the Army said General Singh has been against the elevation of Suhag as the Eastern Army Commander, while the Defence Ministry has been backing him.
Even in his covering letter to the CBI, Gen Singh had said that Suhag has downgraded the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of a junior officer for not toeing the latter’s line on acquisition.
In what looked like a counter campaign, the government questioned the timing of the complaint, pointing to the fact that it has been lying with the Army Chief for several months but was forwarded now - in the last 60 days of his tenure. And exactly when he was expected to given a written complaint against retired officer-turned-lobbyist, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh.