Tuesday 16 July 2019, 05:33 AM
ATTEMPT TO BRIBE ARMY CHIEF (Comment)
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 3/26/2012 12:00:00 AM

New Delhi: The latest revelation by the Army Chief General V.K. Singh about having been offered a bribe of Rs. 14 crore, though quite surprising, has raised a number of questions.
 
According to the General, a lobbyist had offered him the inducement to have a tranche of 600 substandard vehicles cleared for purchase by the Army.

He has claimed that 7000 of such vehicles have already been procured by the Army at exhorbitant prices.  Further, it has been alleged that requisite care was not taken to set a proper facility for servicing and maintenance of the vehicles.  V.K. Singh has pointed out lack of facilities for repairs of such vehicles within the service.
 
Moreover, the Chief has made a startling revelation of having been told by the person (not named) that similar offers had been accepted during his predecessor's time. 

The Chief promptly reported the matter to the Defence Minister and even offered to resign. Lastly, according to the General, the person concerned has recently retired from the Army.
 
The Army Chief has gone on to say that his tirade against corruption in the Army had led to his being targeted  on the date of birth issue.

He has admitted that over the years military's standards of probity and integrity have fallen.  However, he has assured that the sutradhar (perpetrator) of the "play" would soon be unearthed. 
 
Now the first question is as to when was the bribe offered to the Chief?  What ocular and circumstantial evidence has he got in support of his assertion?  Anybody and everybody cannot just walk up to the Army Chief.

There is an elaborate system of security and formalities required before a person can get access to the top General.  Full records are kept of all officials and visitors.  Hence requite details of such a meeting should be easily available and produced.
 
The next question is that though the Chief reported the matter to the authorities what prevented him from initiating suitable action against the culprit?  It appears that the alleged offender was a military officer.  If so, then he was surely within the disciplinary control of the Army Chief.  Why was the offender not charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act?
 
The bribe offerer would be under the military jurisdiction even if in the interim period he has retired from the Army.  So why not start action against him. 

It is also intriguing to learn about the vendors having succeeded to supply of substandard vehicles for the units and formations.  How were the vehicles cleared for entry in service?  Did their pre delivery inspection take place? 

The Army has a well laid down procedure for repair and maintenance carried out at different echelons and depose.  Does the General impute that a new equipment was accepted for entry in service without adequate arrangements for supply of spares and repair of the vehicles including overhaul of the engines?  Lastly, the Chief's announcement about the unveiling of the "sutradhar" also appears to be little surprising. 
 
The story thus at this stage has a number of unexplained issues.  The nation would like to know the answer to the above and many other connected relevant questions. 

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ATTEMPT TO BRIBE ARMY CHIEF (Comment)

DEFENCE MONITOR

भारत डिफेंस कवच की नई हिन्दी पत्रिका ‘डिफेंस मॉनिटर’ का ताजा अंक ऊपर दर्शाया गया है। इसके पहले दस पन्ने आप मुफ्त देख सकते हैं। पूरी पत्रिका पढ़ने के लिए कुछ राशि का भुगतान करना होता है। पुराने अंक आप पूरी तरह फ्री पढ़ सकते हैं। पत्रिका के अंकों पर क्लिक करें और देखें। -संपादक

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