Army chief says was offered 140-mln-rupee bribe: report

NEW DELHI Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:16am IST

India's newly appointed army Chief General Vijay Kumar Singh inspects the guard of honour after taking over the charge in New Delhi April 1, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

India's newly appointed army Chief General Vijay Kumar Singh inspects the guard of honour after taking over the charge in New Delhi April 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's army chief General Vijay Kumar Singh has said in a newspaper interview that he was offered a bribe of 140 million rupees by an equipment lobbyist, sparking a furore in parliament on Monday.

Singh, who heads the world's second largest standing army, made the allegation in an interview to The Hindu published on Monday.

The army chief said the lobbyist wanted him to clear a tranche of "600 sub-standard vehicles".

"Just imagine, one of these men had the gumption to walk up to me and tell me that if I cleared the tranche, he would give me 14 crore rupees," Singh was quoted as saying.

"He was offering a bribe to me, to the army chief. He told me that people had taken money before me and they will take money after me."

Singh said he informed the Defence Minister A. K. Antony about the incident.

Parliament was briefly adjourned on Monday after lawmakers sought a debate on the issue.

"Already I've taken action," Antony told reporters outside parliament.

(Writing by Tony Tharakan)

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