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Court pulls up Tejinder

New Delhi, May 5: A magistrate today transferred the defamation case against the army chief to another court, saying the accuser, Lt Gen. (retd) Tejinder Singh, was insisting on early dates and pressuring the court to “fall in line” with his counsel’s “dictates”.

Metropolitan magistrate Sudesh Kumar said: “The tone and the tenor of this application (Tejinder Singh’s) reflect an apparent attempt to overreach, browbeat and pressurise this court into falling in line with the dictates of the counsel for the complainant.”

The counsel “on each and every date is taking advantage of the wide media coverage this case is receiving and has been repeatedly pressurising this court for shorter dates”, Kumar said.

On an earlier occasion, Tejinder Singh’s counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal had asked the court to make a decision on Gen. V.K. Singh fast, stressing that the army chief would retire at the end of this month.

The metropolitan magistrate was expected to pass an order today on whether to summon Gen. V.K. Singh.

Now, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate will hear the case on May 7.

Last month, Tejinder Singh filed the defamation suit against the army chief who has alleged that Tejinder Singh offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore to get a deal for purchasing Tatra trucks cleared. The offer, according to Gen. V.K. Singh, was made in September 2010.

Magistrate Kumar also said: “The counsel for the complainant appears to have lost confidence in the courts of law and legal procedure.”

He said the counsel had been insisting on earlier dates though the matter does not fall in the category of priority cases, which the courts have to hear first.

The army chief’s bribe charge is being probed by the CBI that has registered a preliminary inquiry.

The agency has already recorded the army chief’s statement and also questioned Tejinder Singh thrice.