Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lt Gen Dastan and Lt Gen Suhag are in the battle for succession

Lt Gen Allegedly Denied Appointment to Move Court
NEW DELHI | OCT 30, 2012
The dust has hardly settled after former Army Chief Gen V K Singh's court battle with the Government when another General is planning to move court to seek elevation as an Army Commander from June 1 which, if accepted, can create a possible succession row in the force.
Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Ravi Dastane is planning to file a petition in the Armed Forces Tribunal in this regard in the next few days, his counsel Major S S Pandey said here today.
He said Lt Gen Dastane, who has already filed a statutory complaint with the Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh in this regard, is planning to make two main pleas before the Tribunal where he will seek elevation to the rank of Army Commander from June 1 this year retrospectively when two vacancies were existing.
The posts of Western and Eastern Army Commander had fallen vacant on May 31 after the retirement of Gen V K Singh, who was succeeded by Lt Gen Bikram Singh, and the Western Army Commander Lt Gen Shankar Ranjan Ghosh. Lt Gen Bikram Singh had headed the Eastern Command.
The Government had kept the post of Eastern Army Commander vacant for two to three days before Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag was appointed whereas Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachhra was appointed as the Western Army Commander on June 1.
The post was not filled as just before retirement, Gen V K Singh had put Lt Gen Suhag under a discipline and vigilance ban for a failed intelligence operation in Assam but the ban was lifted within 72 hours of Gen Bikram Singh's assuming office.
"On that day, Lt Gen Dastane was also eligible to be elevated as an Army Commander and we will plead before the AFT to give us that appointment," Pandey said.
If the plea is accepted, then Lt Gen Dastane may become senior to Lt Gen Suhag who is expected to succeed Gen Bikram Singh in July 2014 after his retirement.
The second main plea of Lt Gen Dastane would be to be appointed as an Army commander on January 31 when the post of Southern Army Command head falls vacant after Lt Gen A K Singh superannuates with seniority to be taken into account from June 1, Dastane's counsel said.
Though the Government considers all Army Commander-rank officers for elevation to the post of Army Chief but barring a few cases, it has gone ahead with the seniormost officer for the top job.
Commenting on the statutory complaint filed by the officer, Defence Ministry officials said it was pending and no decision has yet been taken.
On the vacancy of Eastern Army Commander being kept vacant for two-three days for Lt Gen Suhag, they said the Government had to take a holistic view of the situation as the officer was being targeted in a "motivated manner" by his then superiors.
Lt Gen Dastane has commanded the 14 Corps in Ladakh and was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) when troops in an artillery regiment beat up their officers in Nyoma during an exercise.
The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident and its outcome is still awaited.
Lt Gen Allegedly Denied Appointment to Move Court
Comment: The Military appointments are manipulated by MOD and Arms Lobbyists. There is handing and taking over to safeguard accrual of hidden assets that the appointment carries (example sample the Tatra scam revelation- a cut of Rs 14 crores for the chief).

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