Court raps ex-army chief, lawyer on bail plea

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SINGHNew Delhi, July 27;Former Army Chief V.K. Singh, facing charges of criminal defamation, on Saturday earned the ire of a magistrate in New Delhi after the retired General’s counsel asked him to “recuse” himself during hearing in the case and was warned of action over the conduct.

“Do not tell me when I should recuse or not. You will not tell this to me. I can take cognisance… Do not say like this in the court. Just because I do not say anything or do not put my foot down on the matter, it does not mean that you will take me for granted. Do not take advantage of my leniency,” Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja told V.K. Singh’s counsel.

The magistrate also told the former Army Chief, who appeared before him in pursuance to the bailable warrants issued against him for his failure to appear before the court earlier, that if his lawyer Vishwajeet Singh would show such conduct, then he may not be “liberal” to him.

“Mr Singh, I have been very liberal on this case. This is a normal case for me. But is this the conduct of your lawyer? He had not appeared before me on the last date…I am afraid I will not be liberal,” Magistrate Thareja said.

During the hearing, advocate Anil Aggarwal, appearing for complainant Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh, moved two applications seeking cancellation of bail granted to V.K. Singh and cancellation of exemption granted to other four persons, against whom he had filed the defamation case.

The court, which clarified that it is not passing any adverse order against V K Singh today, said it would hear the arguments on the plea on August 21. It also said that it would also hear the arguments on V K Singh’s plea for permanent exemption on that day.

Tejinder Singh had filed a criminal defamation case against V.K. Singh, Vice Chief of Army S.K. Singh, Lt Gen B.S. Thakur (Director General of Military Intelligence), Major General S.L. Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Colonel Hitten Sawhney.

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