NEW DELHI, May 5: A Delhi court today refused to pass orders on a criminal defamation case against Army Chief General V K Singh and four others citing loss of confidence and “apparent attempt” to “pressurise” by petitioner Lt Gen Tejinder Suingh’s counsel.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Sudesh Kumar transferred the case to Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Amit Bansal saying counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal, who is appearing for Tejinder Singh, has “lost confidence over the courts of law and legal procedure”.
“It appears that counsel for complainant (Tejinder Singh) Anil Kumar Aggarwal, in his zeal to obtain favourable orders for his client, did not wait for the hearing and on May 3, 2012 filed an application seeking corrections in the order sheet dated April 26, 2012,” the magistrate said.
“I have gone through the said application. The tone and tenor of this application reflects an apparent attempt to overreach, browbeat and pressurise this court into falling into lines of dictates of the counsel for complainant,” he said.
The magistrate was scheduled to pass his order today on Tejinder Singh’s complaint but he transferred it to ACMM Bansal and directed the complainant to appear before the ACMM on May 7.
Besides the Army chief, Tejinder Singh has named Vice Chief of Army Staff S K Singh, Lt Gen B S Thakur (DG MI), Major General S L Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney, accusing them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him.
The metropolitan magistrate, in his three-page order, said Tejinder Singh’s counsel had pressurised the court to obtain short dates in the matter despite the fact that the case do not fall under the category of “priority cases”.
“It seems that counsel for complainant on each and every date in this case, taking advantage of wide media coverage the matter is receiving, has been repeatedly pressurising this court for shorter dates despite the fact that the matter does not fall within the category of priority cases which the court is required to follow i.E. Old cases, matters involving persons in judicial custody, matter’s involving crime against women, child and senior citizens etc,” the magistrate said.
Detailing the sequence of the case proceedings, the court said after taking cognisance of the complaint on March 29, 2012, it had recorded pre-summoning evidence, including the statement of Tejinder Singh and three others, on April 10.
The magistrate said after feeling need for clarification on the documents submitted by the complainant, he had fixed the matter for April 25 but the counsel had pleaded urgency in the matter and it was preponed to April 21.
He said on April 21, he had to attend a training session and thus the matter was adjourned to April 26 and then, it was posted for May 11 for order after which Tejinder Singh’s counsel again pleaded for urgency and the matter for preponed for today.
The magistrate, in his today’s order, noted that such matter should not be given priority over other cases.
“No doubt every citizen of this country has statutory/ constitutional right against any attack on his reputation. The right to reputation being an important facet under Article 21 of the Constitution of India but this does not mean that such matter will receive precedence over other priority cases pending before the court,” he said.
The magistrate said he does not want to proceed further in the case as Tejinder Singh’s counsel had exhibited “lack of confidence over the court.”
“The counsel for the complainant appears to have lost confidence over the courts of law and legal procedure.
“In my considered view, vide this application, counsel Anil Kumar Aggarwal has exhibited lack of confidence over the court and the manner in which he had tried to dictate to this court as to what is required to be mentioned in the proceeding order sheets and as to what type of inquiries this court has to make, reflects his lack of faith in this court. Hence, under these circumstances, I do not want to proceed further with the trial in the present complaint,” he said.
“Let the matter be placed before ACMM-01 (Bansal) with request to pass further orders in this regards on May 7 at 2 PM. Complainant (Tejinder Singh) is directed to appear before ACMM-01 on May 7 at 2 PM,” he said.
The court had earlier recorded Tejinder Singh’s statement and the pre-summoning evidence in support of his defamation complaint over a press release alleging that he had offered bribe on behalf of Tatra and Vectra Ltd, which supplies vehicles to BEML.
Tejinder Singh had refuted the allegations that he had offered bribe to the Army chief for clearing a deal for 600 “sub-standard” vehicles. (PTI)