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Sunday, 21 October 2012

From Today's Papers - 21 Oct 2012






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121021/main5.htm
Tatra case: Lt Gen Tejinder Singh booked
CBI raids his house, that of the Vectra chief and five other locations
More than six months after former Army Chief Gen VK Singh first alleged that he was offered a bribe for okaying the purchase of specialised military trucks, the CBI today registered a case against Lt General Tejinder Singh, a retired officer.

Gen Tejinder Singh, a former chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), has been booked for having allegedly offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to former Army Chief General VK Singh to clear proposal for the procurement of multi-axle trucks from Tatra-BEML. The foreign truck maker, Tatra-Sipox is in a tie-up with defence public sector undertaking Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).

The CBI teams today raided seven locations in Delhi, Noida and Mumbai. Sources said this included raids on the properties of Vectra group chairman Ravinder Rishi, who is a director in Tatra-Sipox.

The CBI said: “A case has been registered under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against a retired Lieutenant General (Tejinder Singh) for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs 14 crore, on behalf of a private supplier of trucks, to the then Chief of Army Staff, allegedly for clearing the proposal pending with him for approval, for procurement of 1,676 high mobility vehicles for the Indian Army.”

The Section 12 of the Act deals with punishment for abetment to offences under Sections 7 and 11 of the Act. It applies even if the offence of giving bribe was not consequently committed.

Lt Gen Tejinder Singh’s lawyer said this evening: “We have nothing against the inquiry. This will now answer why was there a delay of two years in filing a complaint by Gen VK Singh.”

Wheels of bribe

    General VK Singh had complained that Lt Gen Tejinder Singh (retd) offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore, on behalf of "a private supplier of trucks", to clear the purchase of particular trucks for the Army in 2010
    A preliminary inquiry was initiated by the CBI on April 11, 2012
    Angered Lt Gen Tejinder Singh filed a defamation case against Gen VK Singh and four other officers of the Army, which is still pending in court


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121021/main3.htm
Nation honours ’62 war heroes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The Ministry of Defence and the armed forces today, for the first time, officially organised an honour ceremony for soldiers who were killed or had participated in the 1962 war with China.

The military defeat at the hands of China, despite being a shameful chapter in the Indian history, had Indian soldiers displaying flashes of brilliance, grit and bravery and they deserved to be honoured, sources said.

Observers feel the MoD and the forces have shown a kind of maturity and confidence of putting the war behind and relying on today’s strengths. The decision to honour martyrs appears to have less to do with the 50th anniversary of the war and more with the fact that as a nation, India appears to have dealt with the trauma.

Defence Minister AK Antony led the Services’ top brass at the solemn ceremony under the arch of the India Gate this morning. Besides Antony, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, Army Chief General Bikram Singh, Naval Chief

Admiral DK Joshi and Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne laid wreaths.

It was on this day in 1962 at 5.15 am that the Chinese had opened up a full-scale attack at the Namka Chu river, north of Tawang, in Arunachal Pradesh and simultaneous attacks at Walong in the extreme North-East and Ladakh. This attack was preceded by skirmishes all along the disputed McMohan Line.

The honour ceremony was conducted around 7 am today, almost coinciding with the time when the first line of defence of the then ill-equipped Indian Army had crumbled in 1962.

Minutes after paying homage, Antony, in response to a question as to why did it take 50 years for the government to honour soldiers and martyrs of the 1962 war, said “Nothing changed. This is the 50th year and we thought this is time the nation must pay homage to the officers and jawans who lost lives to protect our border.”


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/for-first-time-soldiers-who-died-in-1962-indo-china-war-honoured-282106?pfrom=home-otherstories
For first time, soldiers who died in 1962 Indo-China war honoured
New Delhi: Paying homage to soldiers who fought in the 1962 Indo-China war, Defence Minister A K Antony today ruled out any possibility of the repeat of the war and said armed forces were confident of protecting the country against any such threat.

This is the first time that the Indian defence establishment has honoured the dead and participants of the 1962 war officially.

"I would like to assure the nation that India of today is not the India of 1962. Over the years, successive governments learning lessons from the past strengthened our capabilities and modernised our armed forces... we are confident armed forces will be able to protect the border in event of any threat," he said on the sidelines of an event to honour the soldiers of the 1962 war on its 50th anniversary.
The Defence Minister was asked to assess the threat from China and India's preparation to tackle it.

In the war, India suffered defeat at the hands of the Chinese Army which went to capture a large portion of Indian territory.

The Defence Minister, who along with Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh and the three services chiefs paid homage to the 1962 war heroes and laid wreaths at Amar Jawan Jyoti, said successive governments have learnt lessons from the war and strengthened military capabilities and developed infrastructure.

"We will vigorously continue to strengthen our capabilities," the Defence Minister said.

Mr Antony also noted that India was in talks with China to find a solution to the long-pending border dispute and has established a mechanism to "immediately settle" any tensions on the border.

Asked why it took 50 years for the Government to honour the soldiers and martyrs of the 1962 war, the Defence Minister said, "Nothing changed. This is the 50th year and we thought this is the time the whole nation must pay our homage to the officers and jawans who lost lives to protect our border."

Asked about criticism that the military leadership was not involved in 1962 and the lessons learnt from it, Mr Antony said, "The major lesson is that we have to strengthen our armed forces to protect our borders. That we are doing and now we are in a position to involve armed forces, intelligence agencies and all those involved in the protection of national security. That process is much stronger."

Asked when the Government will take a decision on the Henderson Brookes report on the 1962 war, the Defence Minister said, "Let me take a decision."

He said all issues relating to setting up of the national war memorial at India Gate have been sorted out and it was in the final stages of being cleared by the Government.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/286703/india-pays-homage-1962-war.html
India pays homage to martyrs of 1962 war for first time
Paying homage to soldiers who fought in the 1962 Indo-China war, Defence Minister A K Antony today ruled out any possibility of the repeat of the war and said armed forces were confident of protecting the country against any such threat.

This is the first time that the Indian defence establishment has honoured the dead and participants of the 1962 war officially.

"I would like to assure the nation that India of today is not the India of 1962. Over the years, successive governments learning lessons from the past strengthened our capabilities and modernised our armed forces... we are confident armed forces will be able to protect the border in event of any threat," he said on the sidelines of an event to honour the soldiers of the 1962 war on its 50th anniversary.

The Defence Minister was asked to assess the threat from China and India's preparation to tackle it.

In the war, India suffered defeat at the hands of the Chinese Army which went to capture large portion of Indian territory.

The Defence Minister, who along with Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh and the three services chiefs paid homage to the 1962 war heroes and laid wreaths at Amar Jawan Jyoti, said successive governments have learnt lessons from the war and strengthened military capabilities and developed infrastructure.

"We will vigorously continue to strengthen our capabilities," the Defence Minister said.
Antony also noted that India was holding dialogue with China to find a solution to the long-pending border dispute and has established a mechanism to "immediately settle" any tensions on the border.

Asked why did it take 50 years for the Government to honour the soldiers and martyrs of the 1962 war, the Defence Minister said, "Nothing changed. This is the 50th year and we thought this is the time the whole nation must pay our homage to the officers and jawans who lost lives to protect our border."

Asked about criticism that the military leadership was not much involved in 1962 and the lessons learnt from it, Antony said, "The major lesson is that we have to strengthen our armed forces to protect our borders. That we are doing and now we are in a position to involve armed forces, intelligence agencies and all those involved in the protection of national security that process is much more strong."

Asked when will the Government take a decision on the Henderson Brookes report on the 1962 war, the Defence Minister said, "Let me take a decision."

He said all issues relating to setting up of the national war memorial at India Gate have been sorted out and it was in the final stages of being cleared by the Government.

http://twocircles.net/2012oct20/court_notice_four_army_officers_defamation_case.html
Court notice to four army officers in defamation case
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has issued notice to four serving Indian Army officers in a defamation case filed by Lt. Gen. (retd) Tejinder Singh against a trial court order exempting their personal appearance.

Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh moved the high court challenging the order of the trial court that allowed permanent exemption from personal appearance to the four accused serving officers.

Justice P.K. Bhasin Friday issued notice to the four officers and sought their reply by Feb 15, the next date of hearing.

Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh had filed a defamation case against former army chief, Gen. V.K. Singh, and the four 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 sought the setting aside of the trial court's order granting permanent exemption from appearance after the four officers pleaded that their presence in court will prevent them from discharging of their public duty.

Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh alleged that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him.

Alleging that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him, Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh named the former army chief, Army Vice Chief Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh, Director General Military Intelligence Lt. Gen. B.S. Thakur, Additional Director General Public Information Major Gen S.L. Narsimhan and Directorate General of Public Information Staff Officer Lt. Col. Hitten Sawhney.

The former army chief had disclosed in a press release that he was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore by a retired defence officer in exchange for clearing a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles.

Denying all the allegations, Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh 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 (MI) of conspiring to create a rift between the army chief and the government.

The army said the "fabricated fiction" was put out by a group of disgruntled serving officers of MI working in connivance with a retired lieutenant general who had headed the defence intelligence agency.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CBI-books-Tejinder-Singh-for-bribe-offer-to-ex-Army-chief/articleshow/16896807.cms
CBI books Tejinder Singh for bribe offer to ex-Army chief
NEW DELHI: After six months of elaborate investigation, the CBI on Saturday filed a case against Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs 14 crore to former Army chief General VK Singh to clear the purchase of 1,676 high-mobility Tatra trucks for the Indian Army.

The agency carried raids at seven places in Delhi, Mumbai and Noida on the premises of Vectra Group chairman Ravi Rishi and Tejinder Singh's residence at Safdarjung Enclave here, and recovered Rs 98 lakh in cash and also questioned the retired Lt Gen.

Sources say that Tejinder Singh even had links with alleged arms-dealer Abhishek Verma, which is being probed.

Although there was a two-year lag between when the ex-Army chief reported the alleged bribe offer to defence minister AK Antony and CBI registering a Preliminary Enquiry (PE), the agency has decided to launch a formal investigation since the evidence seemed to corroborate Gen VK Singh's version of what transpired between the two.

CBI is conducting a parallel inquiry into the complaint regarding the monopoly Tatra has enjoyed for two decades in supplying all-terrain trucks to defence forces. Sources said the charge sheet in the case is in final stages, and could be filed in a Delhi court shortly. The agency is expected to charge officials of Tatra and the public sector, Bharat Earth Movers Limited.

Sources in the CBI said that preliminary investigation has established retired Tejinder Singh's meeting with the then Army chief as well as that the latter was unhappy with what had transpired. During its probe, CBI has established that cause of action of Tejinder Singh's visit to General VK Singh on September 22, 2010, was because "the file related to procurement of Tatra trucks was lying on the table of army chief that day" and that "Tejinder Singh offered bribe on behalf of Ravi Rishi as he is closely associated with the latter".

Antony's confirmation of General VK Singh's "oral complaint" was found to be strong corroborative evidence.

But strengthened the case for a formal investigation was evidence of Tejinder Singh's alleged dealings with lobbyists for arms manufacturers, including a Korean company. Tejinder Singh has been booked under section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act. Under Section 12 of the PC Act, a person who abets the offence of making a public servant accept illegal gratification, whether or not that offence is committed in consequence of that abetment, can be punished with the minimum punishment of six months which may extend to five years.

"We have evidence of his links with a shadowy set of former defence officers who were on the payroll of arms manufacturers and suppliers", said a senior CBI source.

In addition, the ex-Army chief had recommended Tejinder Singh for heading the National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) a few days before the alleged bribe proposal was made. This led the CBI to believe that General VK Singh was not biased against Tejinder Singh.

Gen VK Singh created a sensation when he made public his allegation against Tejinder Singh, leading the Opposition to protest against inaction by Antony. In interviews, the ex-Army chief quoted Tejinder Singh saying that he should not refuse the offer since everyone else had also been on the take.

In his statement to Parliament, Antony confirmed the allegation of the former Army chief, but defended himself against the charge of inaction by saying that he had asked Gen VK Singh to put the complaint in writing.

The agency investigations corroborated claims made by VK Singh that On September 22, 2010, 'he had asked his staff to take Tejinder Singh out from his office' and "register entry of Tejinder Singh's visit to VK Singh's office".

Subsequently, scrutiny of "record of discussion' (RD), in which Lt General (Retd) Tejinder Singh alleged meeting with the then Army chief and their conversation was recorded, also established that the accused had made an offer of Rs 14 crore to Gen VK Singh, sources said. The RD, regarding the bribe-offer made on September 22, 2010, was provided by Gen VK Singh to the CBI, and it was corroborated by Antony as well, said a source.

"During probe, Tejinder Singh's nexus with Ravi Rishi also came to light apart from other arms dealer, which we are looking at," said the officer.


http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/premvir-das-a-chief-by-any-other-name/490208/
Premvir Das: A chief by any other name
Premvir Das / Oct 21, 2012, 00:37 IST

There has been no shortage of articles in the media, most recently by a former service chief, arguing for the creation of dedicated Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in the armed forces and of integrated theatre commands instead of the existing 17 individual service commands. The Naresh Chandra Committee constituted by the government to recommend measures to optimise higher defence management, has stopped short of recommending creation of either a CDS or theatre commands. It is not known which of the recommendations of this new report have been accepted by government but this discussion is only about highlighting why this whole question of having a CDS is just much ado about nothing.

Recently, after several years of “examination”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) “decided” that henceforth, attack helicopters will be operated by the army and not the air force. This decision follows sustained demands by one service and vehement opposition by the other. What is ironical is that the two services, despite years of verbal and written conflict, were unable to come to an understanding and it required the MoD to finally act as the arbiter. Since the minister himself is not expected to have enough knowledge of these predominantly professional issues, what we are seeing is the bureaucracy taking a view, getting the minister’s OK (or ‘blessings’, in Indian bureaucratese) and telling the two contending branches of the armed forces what is best in their professional affairs. In short, doing for them what they could quite easily have done themselves.
BEML
A similar situation arose in the mid-1970s. The navy depends upon air surveillance at sea for domain awareness and anti-submarine warfare. This need was being met, in some limited way, by Super Constellation aircraft operated by the air force. For many years the navy argued that air operations at sea required the closest understanding between the ships and surveillance aircraft, which was not possible under the prevailing arrangements, asking that the maritime air surveillance task should be transferred to the navy. The air force response was on expected lines — air assets must be optimised under one authority, pilots have no difficulty in adjusting to operations at sea, the navy will not be able to operate and maintain these large multi-engine aircraft and so on. At this time plans were afoot to acquire some anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft (Ilyushin-38s) from the then Soviet Union and the battle for control raged furiously. In one of the most amazing notes written, the then air chief submitted to the minister that the air force would be seriously demoralised if the maritime surveillance task and assets were to be transferred to the navy. Since the two chiefs could not agree it was left to the MoD mandarins to take a view and a decision was duly received, signed by the defence secretary — just as now — stating that command and control of the IL-38 aircraft would rest with the navy.

In both cases, actually, more can be cited: it was the defence secretary who functioned as a de facto CDS, not because he was delegated that power by any higher authority but because the service chiefs, unable to agree with each other, themselves left the decision making to him. This serious flaw in the functioning of our Chiefs of Staff Committee was commented upon adversely in the report of a group headed by the late K Subrahmanyam after the Kargil conflict which stated that the committee, as presently constituted, had not, over the years, been able to provide the government with useful advice on matters of importance. Following this, the Arun Singh Task Force examined these shortcomings and recommended that a dedicated CDS should be constituted as principal military adviser to the government, as was the case in almost all major countries. It is widely believed that then Prime Minister Vajpayee did not agree to this suggestion based on political inputs, but the fact is that sustained pressure was brought to bear on him by the entire community of retired air chiefs. Some years thereafter, an army chief, later to be appointed governor, also publicly stated that the Indian armed forces did not need a CDS. The Naresh Chandra group has also not been able to catch the bull by the horns; its recommendation to create a new post of chairman of the chiefs committee, without making him the principal military adviser, only puts in place a toothless tiger. This position exists in Pakistan and the incumbent looks after largely ceremonial business; there is no reason to expect anything different in India. And, therefore, the defence secretary will continue to act as the CDS, and the MoD bureaucracy, the determinant of inter-service disputes.

In any professional armed forces there will be differences of opinion among its constituents and, therefore, it is necessary to put in place a military authority with adequate experience and background which can examine these different points of view and decide one way or the other. If this is not there, the opposing positions will always have to be put up for decision to someone else and this authority does not have the necessary competence to make it. Even today, public posturing aside aside, service chiefs may well be happier without a CDS and content if an “outsider” acts that role. In short, there is need for introspection, not in the MoD, but in the armed forces. To differ on almost everything of substance in their own domain and then to decry decision making by some adjudicator is just laughable. The fault, dear chiefs, lies not in the MoD babus but in ourselves. The former chief is right: promote seriously the concept of a principal military adviser of whatever name, assume your rightful roles as chiefs of staff and let integrated theatre commands look after operational responsibility. That is the way ahead; else stop cribbing about the stranglehold exercised by the MoD bureaucracy.

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