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Ex-army chiefs shocked over V.K. Singh's bribe claim

New Delhi, Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.26 (ANI): Former army chiefs on Monday expressed shock over Army Chief General V.K. Singh's allegation that he was offered a bribe of Rs.14 crores to clear the purchase of 600 sub-standard vehicles.

General (Retired) Shankar Roy Choudhary said General V.K. Singh was right in informing the Defence Minister and the ministry about being offered a bribe.

"One cannot go to the police and file an FIR based on a conversation. He did the right thing by going to the Defence Ministry and informing them," General (retired) Choudhary said.

General (retired) Choudhary, however, expressed shock at General Singh's claim that he was offered bribe to clear the purchase of vehicles for the forces, saying it wasn't possible to offer money to an army chief.

"I'm not aware of any army chief being offered a bribe. If the chief is saying, then it must have happened. But I don't think it is possible to offer money to an army Chief," he said.

He also added that equipments in the Army were not of the best quality.

He was referring to General Singh's claim in an interview to national daily 'The Hindu' in which he said he was offered a bribe of Rs.14 crore by an equipment lobbyist to have a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles cleared for purchase.

"Times have changed since I retired. There are vehicles that come to us, I would not say sub-standard, but yes they are not the best in the world. The equipments are far from being the best in world, but we are handling them and are handling them well. Army's role is only to try the vehicles and give a report," General Choudhary told CNN-IBN TV channel.

Another retired army chief General V.P. Malik described the revelation as "strange and serious".

He said: "This is the first time that I have heard the army chief was approached in this manner. To me it's very strange. It's a serious matter," General Malik said.

General Malik said that the matter should have been reported immediately and a case should have been registered promptly. He also said that the lobbying company should have been blacklisted. (ANI)

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