New Delhi: Initiating probe in the allegations leveled by Army Chief General VK Singh that he was offered Rs 14 crore bribe to clear the tranche of sub standard vehicles for the army, the CBI will  record statements of Singh, Lt General Tejinder Singh (retired) and Vectra chief Ravi Rishi.

Ministry of Defence has appointed two Army officers of Colonel rank to assist CBI in the interrogation.

The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) on Army Chief General V K Singh's Complaint. A PE is formal initiation of probe before registering an FIR but during this phase the agency does not have powers to question, search or arrest.

The agency had on Tuesday received a complaint from Gen Singh giving details of the alleged bribery offer made to him by retired Lt Gen Tejinder Singh, who has denied the charge terming it as absolutely false and concocted. After getting the legal opinion, the agency decided to proceed with a PE.

The CBI might convert the PE into an FIR if it finds prima-facie evidence of any alleged wrong-doing. The Army Chief had alleged that Tejinder Singh had offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore, a matter he had reported to Defence Minister A K Antony, to clear purchase of nearly 600 all-terrain Tatra BEML trucks.

Tejinder Singh has refuted the allegations and also slapped a defamation case against the Army Chief and other officers.  The ministry had then recommended a CBI probe into the allegation made by the Army Chief.

In the initial communication to the CBI, the Army Chief had said that there was a bribe offer from Tejinder Singh following which the CBI had asked him to submit detailed description of the incident, list of possible witnesses and supporting documents on the issue.

(JPN)