New Delhi: Five days before his controversial 26-month tenure as Army Chief comes to an end, Gen V K Singh on Saturday voiced criticism of the Defence Ministry for "selectively leaking" information to "fix" him.

READ MORE: CBI seeks copies of VK Singh interview
In a series of interviews to TV channels, the General also made no secret of his unhappiness with the Supreme Court where he lost a legal battle over his age in February.
In an apparent reference to a remark by Justice R M Lodha, one of the two judges on the bench that heard his case, the Chief said that a very senior apex court judge had told him to "blow with the wind".

"If all of us are going to blow with the wind then we will all become muggers, we will all become corrupt," he said, according to a transcript of his interview released by a leading english news channel.

Justice Lodha had actually remarked, "wise men are those who move with the wind.  We take pride in having (an) officer like you.  Credit must go to you."

In a separate interview to a news channel, the Army Chief said that he had withdrawn his petition on the age issue because the Supreme Court gave no decision.  "They tried to arbitrate.  Then I realised that you are fighting a system."

During the interviews, Singh said it was not "just lobbies" working against him, but "some people are trying to protect people who are basically doing wrong things."

Turning on the Ministry of Defence, he said that papers related to his age were "illegitimately" released. Some papers that should never have been released under RTI rules were released and this included a couple of pages which the ministry itself had labelled "top secret".

Asked if he was saying that he had been set up, the General replied, "obviously".

When pressed to state as to who was releasing the information, Singh replied that it was the ministry.

"Absolutely," the General answered when asked whether he was saying that information was being selectively leaked to "fix you".
Barely concealing his anger over the leakage of his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complaining of deficiencies and shortages in the Army, the General said this was a "treasonable act".

He then referred to a news agency story, denied by the government, that a Joint Secretary-level officer in the Cabinet Secretariat had been held responsible for the leak.

The General said that the news agency does not "manufacture" stories on its own.  "So somebody must have told them, somebody authoritative enough".

The leakage was done "with a purpose to create an impression that Gen V K Singh is leaking it", he said, adding, somebody within the government "had some agenda".

Asked if he would get into politics after he demits office on May 31, the Chief replied, "I haven't decided anything."

Told about the speculation that he may join Yogaguru Ramdev, Singh replied " I don't think so.  All this is speculative kite flying, to say the least.  And I will not go with this kite flying."

Referring to his allegation that retired Lt General Tejinder Singh had offered him bribe to clear a deal for Tatra trucks, the Army Chief said he had informed Defence Minister A K Antony as per the Services regulations.

Apparently questioning inaction by Antony then, the General said, "He (Antony) has ordered a CBI inquiry. It could have been done earlier."

On inaction on his own part, he said, "If he (Antony) had asked me to take action, action would have been taken. Be rest assured about it."

He, however, went on to add that because of Antony's "blessings" the file regarding the procurement of Tatra trucks was not cleared.
With regard to the controversy over his show cause notice to 3 Corps Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, the Army Chief criticised its leakage and suggested his involvement in it.

"Who else will go (to the media)? The notice was signed by me and it is in the name of the officer (Suhag). Who else will handle it?... It was his responsibility to answer that show cause notice.... But without giving an answer, somebody goes to the press and shows the show cause notice," Gen Singh said when asked whether he suspected Suhag of having leaked the notice.

He said it was "morally unacceptable that a notice from a senior officer to a junior officer has found its way into media and started getting discussed".

Gen Singh has since put Suhag, who could head the force in 2014 by the current succession line, on Disciplinary and Vigilance (DV) ban, by which his promotion would be stalled.

Asked what if the government overturns his decision to put Suhag on DV ban, he said, "it will be government's decision, not mine. People will hold the government responsible for it."


Denying speculations that Army had a role in leaking his letter to the Prime Minister on loopholes in the country’s defence preparedness, General Singh said he is confident that the leak is not done by the Army adding that the people use their imagination to invent certain things.

“I really do not know who leaked it. I am quite sure and my Army is quite sure that it was not leaked by the Army,” he said.

“Now there can be all kinds of theories that we will scratch our heads on, somebody's got to find it. But let me assure you, each man in the Army knows it (the letter) cannot leak out from the Army,” Singh said.


Singh, who is retiring May 31, denied suggestions that he was leaving behind a 'divided' force but said there may be 'some disgruntled people' in the 1.3 million strong Army like any other organisation.

“I really do not know. When I go around, I talk to my people, my men, I do not find any faction. I do not find any divide,” Singh said in an interview when asked whether he was leaving behind a factionalised Army.

“Most of the Army does not feel it this way. There may be some disgruntled people in the 1.3 million strong Army. Like any other organisation, you will have some people who are disgruntled people, people who will retaliate... that's part of it,” he added.


Meanwhile, the Congress steered clear of the remarks of the Army Chief that information was selectively leaked by the Defence Ministry to "fix" him.

"We always treat the institution of Army with utmost respect. If at all, there are certain averments which have been made the appropriate person or the authority to reply to them or rebut them is the Ministry of Defence."If at all there are any questions, with regard to what may have been said by Gen Singh, all those queries should be directed to the ministry of defence," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

He said that the outgoing Army Chief was creating a "bad precedent" which will inflict "irreparable damage" to the Army establishment.

However, the Secretary of AICC ex-servicemen department Captain Praveen Davar criticised the Army chief saying Singh was "playing havoc with the system" and has "crossed the Lakshman rekha".


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