Did IES official leak Army chief's letter to the PM?

Was it a bureaucrat at the Joint Secretary-level who leaked a letter written by Army chief General VK Singh to the Prime Minister in which holes in the government's defence equipment procurement procedure were pointed out?

News agency PTI reported on Sunday night that the unidentified woman officer from the Indian Economic Service (IES) cadre had been posted at the Cabinet Secretariat when she leaked the letter to the media and had since been shunted out of her position in which she handled matters  related to national intelligence.

The Intelligence Bureau is currently probing how the letter was leaked to the media. Quoting highly placed sources, PTI reported that no evidence had been found that the letter had been leaked from the Army chief's office.

General VK Singh had denied leaking the letter to the media. Reuters

The IES official's role was verified after the interrogation of some suspects and she could face further action, the report stated.

However, the government later issued a tersely worded press release in which it denied the PTI report.

"The government denies that there is any truth in the PTI report on the alleged leak of Gen VK Singh's letter to the Prime Minister. The story is completely baseless," the press release stated.

The Indian Express reported that there had been no woman officer from the IES cadre posted with the Cabinet Secretariat in the recent past and said the final report by the Intelligence Bureau hasn't been submitted yet.

The letter written by the Army chief to the Prime Minister on 12 March was printed in the media on 28 March, following which questions were raised by the Opposition in both houses of Parliament over defence equipment procurement for the armed forces.

Defence Minister AK Antony had said that after the results of the Intelligence Bureau probe were made available, strict action would be taken against the person who had leaked the letter.

Updated Date: May 14, 2012 10:23 AM

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