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V K Singh must be sent on forced leave: Mishra

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing row between the government and the Army chief, former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra today held both responsible for not taking action on the bribery allegation but wanted Gen V K Singh to be sent on forced leave.

"My view is that both the minister and the Army chief are responsible for not taking action," he said commenting on the allegations by Gen Singh that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore for clearing a contract for trucks and had informed the Defence Minister about it.

Asked whether the army chief should be sacked or sent on compulsory leave, Mishra told Karan Thapar on the Devil`s Advocate programme that "If he is sacked, then something more may happen. If he is sent on compulsory leave, he is not being sacked.

"He should be told that enjoy your two months vacation with government salary and then take pension and go home."

On the leakage of Gen Singh`s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the poor state of defence preparedness, the former NSA sought to blame the Army chief`s close associates.

"The PM — whom I respect so much — is not the man who is going to leak something like that. I cannot accept that any bureaucrat in the PM residence could have given it out. So if the General himself did not leak the letter, some of his friends might have done it," he said.

On Gen Singh`s recommendations for a CBI probe against 3 Corps commander Lt Gen Dalbir Suhag, he said the Army chief was "not authorised" to do so.

"The person who is authorised to do it is the Defence Secretary. So the proper procedure was to send a letter to the Defence Secretary or refer the file to the Defence Ministry and leave it for them to decide," he said.

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