Pranav Kulkarni, Sushant Kulkarni.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday grilled Lt Gen Jatinder Singh for 10 hours in connection with the alleged recruitment scam that had unseated him in July from the post of National Defence Academy (NDA) commandant.
Now attached to the Army Headquarters as a staffer to the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Singh arrived at the CBI office in Pune at 10 am in a Pune HQ Sub Area car and emerged at 8 pm through a backdoor in a bid to evade reporters. CBI sources said he will be called again at 10 am Tuesday.
Rajkumar Vahtkar, superintendent of the CBI-ACB, confirmed that Lt Gen Singh was questioned in connection with the case on Monday morning. He refused to divulge details.
The alleged scam involving recruitment of class ‘C’ employees had come to light in June last week. His staff officer Col Kulbir Singh and Physical Training Officer (PTO) Col A K Singh, besides a civilian staffer and five others who acted as “agents”, have already been questioned by the CBI and are currently out on bail.
Lt Gen Singh was shifted on July 4 after the CBI wrote to Defence Minister A K Antony, seeking his transfer to facilitate an “unbiased probe”.
The CBI had said they recovered Rs 1.76 crore of the alleged recruitment scam money, and that “trails are also being traced” of about Rs 4 lakh Lt Gen Singh’s staff officer Col Kulbir Singh is believed to have handed over to Lt Gen Singh’s brother in a five star hotel in Mumbai on June 23.
“Lt Gen Singh claimed Kulbir Singh had handed over money he had borrowed. Why would the amount be in cash, when his brother had paid him by cheque? Interestingly, we also seized 12 bottles of expensive whisky along with the Rs 4 lakh in cash,” said an officer.
A 7000 sq ft post-retirement bungalow Lt Gen Singh has been constructing at Ambala has also come under the scanner of the agency. The CBI is reportedly looking into various payments made for the house valued at approximately Rs 1 crore. “We are looking into modes of payment for the house. Our teams have carried out searches in Delhi and other places,” said a CBI officer.
Another officer said, “During questioning, we asked Singh about relations between him and his staff officer as well as PTO. He was cooperative during questioning though he opted not to answer many questions. We will be questioning him again on Tuesday.”
When The Indian Express team visited the CBI office in Akurdi, the car was parked outside. Lt Gen Singh was accompanied by his son-in-law, a doctor at the Military Hospital, Pune, and other relatives. Lt Gen Singh tried to evade the Express team. In fact, one of the persons who accompanied him sat in the car, while Lt Gen Singh opted to exit through a back door. One of the persons who accompanied him tried to prevent The Indian Express photographer from taking pictures.
-via Indian Express.