New Delhi: A Joint Secretary-level officer in the Cabinet Secretariat was responsible for the leakage of Army Chief Gen V K Singh "top secret" letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on shortage of equipment and ammunition, which led to an uproar in Parliament over a month back.

The woman officer, belonging to a service other than IAS and IPS, has now been shunted out of her key position in which she handled intelligence matters, highly-placed sources said tonight.

The action has been taken following an IB inquiry into the leakage of the letter which had found its way into the media and angered the Army Chief who described it as "high treason" and wanted its source to be dealt with "ruthlessly."

However, Government denied the report. Neelam Kapoor, Principal Director General, PIB, said the report that the officer has been held responsible for the leak is "absolutely incorrect".

Following the letter which was written on March 12 and was published in the media on March 28, there was speculation whether it had emanated from the PMO or the Army Chief.

The probe into the leakage ordered by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has also cleared Gen Singh of any wrongdoing in the episode, the sources told newspapers.

In his letter, the Army Chief had highlighted the critical shortage of equipment and ammunition in artillery and armoured regiments.

The female officer belonging to the Indian Economic Service (IES) was nailed after interrogation of some suspected persons, they said.

The officer has now been repatriated to her parent cadre and further action can be taken against her for leaking such a sensitive document, the sources said.

After the letter surfaced, both the Houses of Parliament were rocked over the issue and certain parties had demanded action against Gen Singh also.

At that time, Gen Singh had said that incident should be treated as "high treason" and the source of leakage should be dealt with "ruthlessly."

"The leakage of the letter should be treated as high treason. Cynical approach to tarnish my reputation should stop. Sources of the leakage should be found and dealt with ruthlessly," Gen Singh had said in a statement issued by the Army Headquarters.

Following the incident government had asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to investigate the matter and find out the person responsible for it.

The letter was leaked to the media after Gen Singh made a sensational disclosure in an interview that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by a retired Lt General for favouring a sub-standard defence deal regarding purchase of Army trucks.

(Agencies)

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