Defence Ministry rejects Gen VK Singh’s plea on secret unit

NEW DELHI, Nov 15:
The Defence Ministry has rejected former Army Chief Gen VK Singh’s plea to get a copy of an Army report on the activities of the controversial Technical Support Division (TSD), set up during his tenure.
“In so far as your request for supply of a copy of the report of Board of Officers headed by Director General Military Operation Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia is concerned, it is regretted that it cannot be supplied,” a Defence ministry communication in response to his RTI query said.
The Defence Ministry has rejected the plea by the former Army Chief citing Section 8 (1) (a) of the Right to Information Act.
The Section bars disclosure of information which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, relation with foreign state or lead to incitement of an offence.
Gen.Singh had asked for a copy of the report filed by Lt Gen Bhatia under the RTI Act and also sought to be allowed to inspect the relevant files at the Defence Ministry related to the case.
He had filed the RTI after reports quoted the report filed by Lt Gen Bhatia saying that the TSD was carrying out unauthorised operations trying to destabilise the Jammu and Kashmir government.
The Army has submitted its report on the TSD, which was earlier also accused of illegally tapping phones of senior Defence Ministry officials, to the Defence Ministry and a CBI probe has been recommended against its functioning. The Army had then denied the charges.
TSD was formed after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks on the basis of an operational directive given to the Army by the Government to perform specific tasks.
The secret unit was disbanded soon after Gen Bikram Singh took over as Army Chief in May last year. (PTI)


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