Friday, February 10, 2012

General VK Singh withdraws his petition on age row

Updated Feb 10, 2012 at 03:57pm IST
Age row: General VK Singh withdraws his petition
New Delhi: Army Chief General VK Singh has withdrawn his petition filed in the Supreme Court on the controversy over his date of birth. General Singh's counsel UU Lalit told the two-judge bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice HL Gokhale that they do not wish to press the matter any further in the court. The apex court also asked the General to give an undertaking that he would accept his date of birth as May 10, 1950 within the next 48 hours.

The petition was withdrawn after Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati told the apex court that the government had never questioned the bonafide or integrity of General Singh and contesting the petition did not reflect any lack of confidence in the Army Chief.

Earlier, Vahanvati had told the bench that even though the government was resisting General Singh's plea, it was not against the highly decorated soldier.

General Singh's lawyer Puneet Bali said that the petition was withdrawn as the Army Chief was fighting for his honour and integrity. Claiming that the petition was not about General Singh's tenure, Bali said that the petition was only about determining the correct date of birth.

"The Government of India and the General sorted out the matter gracefully and amicably. Right from the time the petition was filed in the court, it was a matter of integrity. This petition was not meant for extension of service. We are satisfied with the court's ruling as the honour and integrity (of the General) has been restored. The honour and integrity is restored, and it wasn't meant to be beyond that for us. The matter has been amicably solved and we have withdrawn the matter," said Bali.

Adding that "this is the end of the matter", he said that they don't plan to agitate further on the matter.

Earlier, in a major setback to General Singh, the Supreme Court directed him to accept May 10, 1950 as his date of birth and asked him to withdraw his plea or else the court would pass an order on it. The General would complete his tenure as Army Chief on May 31, 2012 and retire on the same date.
click here to read more

Home Minister agrees that Police are Corrupt

February 7, 2012, 9:24 AM IST.Chidambaram: Poor Conditions ‘Dehumanize’ Police.
In an interview, India’s Minister for Home Affairs P. Chidambaram, the country’s top law enforcement official, addressed the issues of corruption and lawlessness in the police force and described his government’s reform efforts. This post accompanies a front-page article by WSJ Mumbai reporter Geeta Anand on corruption in India’s police force published today. An edited transcript:

WSJ: What has your Congress Party-led government done to improve law enforcement in India?

P.C.: At the level of administration of criminal justice and the level of policing, these are matters which fall exclusively under the states’ jurisdiction. We have tried to help, or, if you wish, put in checks and balances by creating a number of institutions — for example, the human rights commission — at the national level and at the state level. Then there are commissions that deal with the most vulnerable sections, the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women and children. There are commissions on each one of these sections at the national level, but most states have commissions at the state level as well.

The Supreme Court has laid down a set of minimum measures for police reform. Now, we impress upon the states the need to put in place these mechanisms. For example, a committee to decide on transfers and postings at the state level, another committee to deal with complaints against police. Many states have put in place these committees, some have not.

Even where states have put in place these committees, many of them are not quite functional and don’t really exercise the authority that they are expected to exercise. The Supreme Court continues to hear the cases and pull up the states (that) have either not set up committees, or, having set up the committees, have not empowered them. We fully support these reforms, which the Supreme Court has laid down.

WSJ: One frequent criticism is the corruption of the police forces. Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro, among others, told me that corruption has become systematized in hiring so that applicants for the position of constable are routinely asked to pay bribes in order to get the jobs. That money goes to state politicians, who not only influence hiring, but also the discipline, transfers and postings of officers on the entire police force, these critics say. They say police commissioners feel compelled to heed the wishes of politicians because they control postings and transfers of the police commissioners. This scenario means the police commissioner doesn’t control his men and there’s little discipline in the force, these critics say.

P.C.: Well, I accept the criticism. I accept the criticism but I would have liked the critics to have implemented reforms when they were in office, not criticized their successors when they have retired. All of these very fine police officers headed police offices at some time or another and that is when they should have implemented reforms.
Click here to read the full transcript: Chidambaram: Poor Conditions ‘Dehumanize’ Police
Comment: What has the Home Minister done to investigate the secret swiss bank account holders. Most criminals are protected by Politicians and some of them are criminals themselves. Can Politicians cleanse the Police when both are working in tandem?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spare the General and save the Nation

09 Feb 2012
The face-off between the government and the Army Chief General V K Singh is not in the interest of the nation. While there appears to be a concerted attempt to depict Gen. Singh in bad light, a close scrutiny of available information seems to be in favour of the Army Chief.

Defence minister AK Antony says the government exercised maximum restraint and patience on the issue of determining Gen. Singh’s date of birth and wants to wait for the final verdict of the Supreme Court. There is no legal issue involved for the apex court to lay down any law.

A confidential memo A/4501/01(GEN/MS(1) dated 01 July, 2011, from the Military Secretary’s Branch sent to the Ministry of Defence on the DoB of IC 24134 General VK Singh PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, by Lt.-Gen. GM Nair, Military Secretary observed, says: “On scrutiny of past records pertaining to Selection Boards, it has been that the MDSs pertaining to Gen. VK Singh which were drawn up at the time of his consideration for promotion to select ranks reflect the date of birth of the General Officer as 10 May, 1951.”

The memorandum said that copies of the relevant MDS sheets were available with the Ministry of Defence for verification and that this had been brought to the notice of the Defence Minister for due consideration.

This memo flies in the face of Antony’s claim that Gen. Singh accepted 1950 as his year of birth when former Army Chiefs asked for it before his promotion as Major-General and Lt.-General.

What was the need for their asking when the Selection Board’s records show his year of birth as 1951?

Gen. Singh earned the wrath of Home Minister P Chidambaram and the powerful mining lobby for his principled opposition to the deployment of the Army to decimate the tribal population of Dandakaranya forests to hand it over to MNCs by saying: “We cannot do this to our own people. Maoists are not secessionists.”

The hard line adopted by the Army Chief against the erring officers in the Adarsh co-operative housing society scandal did not make him popular among his peers in the Army.

The corruption-ridden UPA government has no place for an upright officer like Gen. Singh, particularly at a time when large arms deals are going to be signed.

Gen Singh's service track-record vouches for his integrity

An error committed by VK Singh while filling an application form for entrance to the National Defence Academy when he was just 14 years old has been ferreted out to change his DoB as 10 May, 1950, and the government is sticking like a leech to this piece of paper to deny justice to the chief of the world’s third largest Army.

To add insult to injury, the government is trying to portray him as someone fiddling with his date of birth to hang on to the power and pelf of the high office.

The President, in her capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has a duty to safeguard the honour of soldiers like Gen. Singh, who has lived up to the credo embossed in Chetwood Hall of the Indian Military Academy.

“The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time; The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next; Your own ease comfort and safety come last, always and every time.” – TWL Bureau
Click here to read the full article

What is the status of Serious Fraud Probe into ESM job scam?

Serious fraud probe' into ex-servicemen job scam
New Delhi (IANS): The Defence Ministry handed over the probe into a job racket for ex-servicemen to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in the Corporate Affairs Ministry. Several senior officers of the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) have been found guilty in an internal inquiry.
Serious fraud probe' into ex-servicemen job scam

The information given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Harishchandra Chavan in Lok Sabha in 2010: Click here for ESM status and Statistics

Comment: Most of the ESM schemes are mired in corruption and scams. One example is Tamilnadu Ex Servicemen Corporation which continues to employ civilian fakes as Ex Servicemen for manning parking lots.

Sainik Centre shot in the arm for ex-servicemen

Shalet Jimmy Express News: 03 Feb 2012 08:34:38 AM IST
KOCHI: Ernakulam is all set to get its first ‘Sainik Centre’ for the ex-servicemen. Sprawled over an area of around 2,000 sq ft, the new centre is located at Kizhakkambalam, Kakkanad. The centre is equipped with a conference hall which will be used for organising various training programmes for the retired army personnel. This is the fifth centre in the state, the others being in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Alappuzha.

The project worth Rs 95 lakh will be inaugurated in March, said K K Govindan Nair, Director, Directorate of Sainik Welfare, Vikas Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram. He said that the conference hall would be opened to the public.

Sainik centres are constructed to give accommodation facilities to ex- servicemen who go to different parts of the state for various purposes. “Such centres will be of great relief to ex-servicemen, and the accommodation provided here will be at a subsidised rate,” District Sainik Welfare officer P J Jacob said.

He said that the meagre pension of the ex-servicemen did not help them find appropriate lodging. “As the pension they get is not attractive, it would always cost the ex-servicemen dear, when it comes to their stay at a hotel or a lodge when they go to other districts. Hence this is an attempt by the government to mitigate the trouble of ex-servicemen,” he said. The conference hall which will be built at the centre is aimed at providing various training and other awareness programmes. “The conference hall is mainly intended for training programmes. The department offers various guidance programmes for them to make them think about a second career,” Jacob said. The move to launch the project soon came as a relief to the officials of the Ernakulam District Zilla Sainik Welfare Centre, Kakkanad, as the project has been moving at a snail’s pace for the past three years. The work was entrusted with the Public Works Department and the project was financed both by the Central and the State Governments, he said.
Sainik Centre shot in the arm for ex-servicemen

Quotas for ex-servicemen in jobs will be ensured

Quotas for ex-servicemen in jobs will be ensured, Gupta tells Sainik body
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 00:12 Staff Reporter | Bhopal

State Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta chaired the 17th meeting of Rajya Sainik Board here on Monday.

The meeting discussed provision of 10 per cent and 20 per cent reservation to ex-servicemen in Class-III and Class-IV posts, respectively, and applying the carry-forward system in it, extension of reservation benefit to ex-servicemen vis-à-vis reserved post in police recruitment and making available vehicles on hire for the Beti Bachao Abhiyan and officers of the District Ex-Servicemen Welfare Board.

Uma Shankar Gupta said that implementation of provisions for reservation to ex-servicemen in general and police recruitments will be ensured. He said that a meeting of the senior officers of General Administration and Police Departments will be convened in connection with rules.

The Home Minister said that people join defence service for the security of countrymen under a missionary zeal. The entire country holds them in esteem. He said that an honourable place to ex-servicemen and their families will go a long way in inspiring youths to join these services.

The meeting also discussed making available on hire to 21 District Ex-servicemen Welfare Offices. Gupta said all possible assistance will be made available at the administrative level for running welfare programmes of ex-servicemen.

The meeting also discussed the phenomenon of less average of youths joining the army from Madhya Pradesh that other States. It also discussed a proposal to urge army, military and other educational institutions in the State to encourage students to join defence forces and imparting training to them accordingly.

Gupta instructed that the initiative of such training of youth should be taken by Ex-servicemen Welfare Department in coordination and consultation with the Education Department.

Those who attended the meeting included Commander Bhopal Sub-Area Suresh Gupta, Secretary Home Seema Sharma, Director Ex-servicemen Welfare Brigadier George Mathai, Joint Director Ex-Servicemen Welfare Col VK Chaubey and officers of General Administration, Police, Home departments etc.
click here: Quotas for ex-servicemen in jobs will be ensured
ESM Welfare

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

PM in a fix: To punish the corrupt advisors or not?

2G order: PM wants to know whether his officers should be punished
Sunil Prabhu, Updated: February 08, 2012 17:14 IST
New Delhi: The Prime Minister wants to know if any members of his office need to be penalized as a consequence of a recent Supreme Court verdict on the telecom scam. In its verdict, the court pulled up the Prime Minister's Office, and also recommended that the government consider a four-month deadline for responding to requests to prosecute government servants on charges of corruption. Dr Manmohan Singh has asked Attorney General GE Vahanvati to advise him within a week on whether the government should, in a review petition, ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its verdict.

On January 31, the court ruled that the Prime Minister's Office was wrong to have taken nearly 16 months to respond to a request by Subramaniam Swamy that asked for permission to prosecute former telecom minister A Raja in connection with the 2G scam. Mr Swamy sent in his request in November 2008. He finally took the government to court. The law makes it necessary for the Prime Minister to sanction the prosecution of a union minister.

The Supreme Court said, "The concerned officers in the Prime Minister's Office kept the matter pending and then took the shelter of the fact that the CBI had registered the case and the investigation was pending." However, it was much gentler on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, saying that he "is not expected to personally look into the minute details of every case placed before him and has to depend on his advisers and other officers." (Read: Verdict gentle on PM, tough on his advisors)

Though the court did not mention any names, the PM has asked the Attorney General if he is expected to take any action against those who were his closest aides at the time.
2G order: PM wants to know whether his officers should be punished

Comment: Where is the need to seek SC clarification when the corrupt advisors logically need to punished for their omissions and commissions!

Strategic communications only way to enhance Indo-Pak ties

The Hindu Business Line
Kochi, Jan. 25: Lt General Prakash Menon (Retd), former Commandant NDC, military Adviser in the National Security Council Secretariat, New Delhi, has said that strategic communication is the remedy for enhancing cordial relationship between India and Pakistan.

He was speaking at a meeting on Indo-Pak Relations- Balance of emotions and its economic impact organised by Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in association with ‘TIE' here.

Elaborating the significance of strategic communication, he said that communication is a much faster than decision making from the Government and hence has a great influence on the people. Even the decision making process by the Government is influenced by the public opinion shaped through media. The emotions which prevail on the people of India are hope where as the people in Pakistan are confronted by fear and humiliation. For both the countries to have a friendly relation, it is very essential to overcome these apprehensions for which strategic communication plays a pivotal role, he said.

He also proposed the idea of opening the educational institutions in India for Pakistani students.
Strategic communications only way to enhance Indo-Pak ties

Generals rewarded for toeing the Government

From the archives
Power and Pelf by the Senior Defence Forces Officers has become a norm. We can understand the misdoings by Civilians but the same is not acceptable from Defence Forces as we consider them the last Bastion against the ills of Society. To get involved by the Chiefs who goad and coax their men to lead from Front but at the same time themselves indulging in such action is indeed shameful. Also asking for favours on Personal level is most demeaning to the wonderful Organisation they have served. These guys should be banned from any Military Functions, Clubs, Messes etc. An example should be set so that the Senior Officers who indulge in such activities think twice before taking such Noxious step.
Read more:
Adarsh cloud: Gen Kapoor no longer in list for disaster panel job

Indian Socialism, Success, Freebies, Politicians and Election Promises: A Fictional Account
When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Nehru's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Indian Socialism plan"... All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A...
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that?
  • Ride the Poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
  • What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
  • The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
  • You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
  • When 75% of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the rest is going to take care of them, and when this entity gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    India's Socialism implies maintaining a spineless Military Force... Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Gen VK Singh and the like are rare exceptions
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    IAS Officers Revolt to protect the corrupt

    IAS officers in Andhra Pradesh revolt against ministers
    NDTV Correspondent, Updated: February 07, 2012 09:37 IST

    Hyderabad: Officers of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in Andhra Pradesh have virtually raised a banner of revolt. After the arrest of two senior IAS officers and two more were named in chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the state's top bureaucracy is protesting that they are being made answerable whereas the ministers and the cabinet is let off and not held responsible.

    Senior IAS officer BP Acharya, who was ironically the home secretary of Andhra Pradesh, arrested by the CBI for alleged criminal conspiracy in the 4500 crore-rupees Emaar properties case on January 30 this year. Last year on November 28, another senior officer Y Srilakshmi was arrested for allegedly favouring Gali Janardhan Reddy's Obulapuram Mining Company in granting mining leases as Andhra Pradesh's industries secretary. (Read: Five big facts of the Emaar case)

    With two more IAS officers, LV Subramanyam and KV Rao, named in the chargesheet filed by the CBI, the IAS officers Association in the state has come out in the open to protest against the manner in which the CBI is investigating.

    "We are deeply disappointed over the manner in which the investigation is being carried out by the CBI without following established procedure. Conclusions are being arrived at without any basis and the investigation being used to tarnish the image of the IAS," said S Bhale Rao, President, IAS officers association.

    The IAS officers say it is unfair that the ministers are being let off while the secretaries are being made answerable.

    "The business rules say the minister is primarily responsible for the working of the department. It does not say the secretary is responsible. Whatever the scams in the mining or industries department, the entire cabinet is responsible. We are asking why only the officers are being made answerable," said Madhav Rao, former chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh.

    The virtual banner of revolt raised by the IAS officers in the state is unprecedented. But how should IAS officers protest? Should they refuse to cooperate with the ministers, go on protest leave or represent to the Prime Minister? These were some of the options being discussed.

    Senior minister Ravindra Reddy to who IAS officer Srilakshmi was last reporting as family welfare commissioner says the then mines minister will also have to take responsibility and be made accountable.

    "We have inherited the British system where the secretary advises the minister. But if the minister disagress, the file goes to the chief minister. The bureaucrat and the minister are both accountable and responsible," said Mr Reddy, Andhra Pradesh's Health minister.

    The IAS officers point out that though the government orders are necessarily signed by the secretary, the file notings do reflect the role played by the minister and the civil servant in the decision-making process.

    "There are certain business rules in administration. as per rules, the officer has to implement decisions of govt. when it is not correct, it is upto the officer not to implement it as simple as that," said Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.

    With the IAS taking on the ministers and the political establishment, the high-profile CBI probes have virtually opened a pandora's box in the state.

    The Indian Administrative Service has been given constitutional guarantees in appointment and service to ensure that officers act independent of political and other influence. Sardar Vallabhai Patel called it the iron frame of India, but with more and more officers in the dock for acts of omission and commission, there is apprehension that the iron frame is either rusting or bending backwards to please.
    IAS officers in Andhra Pradesh revolt against ministers

    Will MoD see sense in the date of birth evidence?

    Age row: Time for MoD to see sense
    February 7, 2012 DC

    The way the wrangle over the issue of the Army Chief’s age has gone, the critical observations of the Supreme Court on matters relating to the subject last week should not cause surprise.

    To those who don’t take recourse to splitting hairs, the defence ministry’s public position on the chief’s age appeared unduly hard, and not mindful of the sensitivity of the question that may have an indirect bearing on civil-military relations.

    What appeared particularly combative was the recent observation of defence minister A.K. Antony that the government had shown “patience” in the affair, suggesting Gen. V.K. Singh was out of line in approaching the Supreme Court for justice upon the rejection of his statutory complaint by the ministry on December 30 last year.

    While the Supreme Court is yet to go into the merits of the case of Gen. Singh’s age — and it has made that quite clear — it had no hesitation upholding Gen. Singh’s right to move the nation’s highest court with his plea. Besides, the court held that the government’s order of December 30 was against the principle of natural justice and was ultra vires.

    The latter suggests misuse of authority or poor judgment in the exercise of powers. What must sting is the court’s suggestion that the government “withdraw” its December 30 order so that Gen. Singh may have the option to go with his plea on age to the Armed Forces Tribunal or to the high court, even indicating that the latter may be the preferable course as the general is due to retire in four months’ time.

    It is pertinent that the Supreme Court framed its observations in the context of deficiencies in the process of decision-making, which it said had “vitiated” the decision in this case — leading to the rejection of the Army Chief’s statutory complaint. This is clearly a rap on the knuckles.

    The court said that the government’s July 21 order dismissing Gen. Singh’s contention on age flowed from the advice of the attorney-general, and the later rejection of the statutory complaint of Gen. Singh against that order also derived from the advice of the same law official.

    The court has all but indicated that if the government does not withdraw the December 30 order, it may proceed to “quash” it. The hard time the government is getting is of its own making. Evidently, the A-G’s advice in one too many high-profile case has proved less than sound. The government would also do well to get off its high horse.

    It shouldn’t in every instance of dealing with the military imagine that it is preserving the notion of the superiority of civilian authority over the armed forces.
    Age row: Time for MoD to see sense
    Comment: Why is the MoD so obsessed with the succession plot evolved by former Army Chief's, Gen's JJ Singh and Deepak Kapoor whose intentions obviously are mala fide. MoD needs to honestly give its reasons and not use the Date of Birth as a ploy to play around.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    A Matter of Honour

    Avoidable row over Army Chief’s date of birth
    by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd)
    The Tribune – 10-01-2012

    TRUST the government in general and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in particular to disparage the armed forces’ image at the slightest pretext. In the last few years, this seems to have become a norm. The latest is the way a simple issue like the age of Gen V.K. Singh, the current Army Chief, has been made a highly controversial issue. It has been extensively debated in the media for nearly the entire tenure of the Chief, when it could easily have been sorted out as a matter of routine. Now, there is a sudden urgency to the issue as the MoD has peremptorily rejected the plea of the Chief, as requested by him through the medium of a statutory complaint and there is speculation that the Chief may take the issue to the Supreme Court.

    A simple case of when a person was born has been unnecessarily dragged into the public gaze because there are vested interests wanting to bring the high office of the Army Chief to such absurd levels where the issue of when the current incumbent was born has become a subject of speculation by the media and various self-appointed analysts, do-gooders and those wanting to please the leadership to meet their personal ends. Some loyalists of the government have even opined that the Chief should resign! Why should he when the MoD, including the person who presides over it, is to blame for this state of affairs? If any resignation is needed, it should be the persons who have brought this simple issue to this sorry impasse!

    The facts are simple and straightforward. There is ample documentary evidence that General Singh, the current Army Chief, was born on May 10, 1951. This includes his birth certificate issued by a military hospital; the date in his school leaving certificate; the date in the records of the UPSC; the records of the military academies from where he passed out — the NDA and the IMA — the records maintained by the personnel branch of the Army, Adjutant-General’s (AG’s) Branch; the records with the battalion to which he reported on commissioning; personal record entries in the numerous annual confidential reports (ACR’s) initiated every year and many more documents.

    However, the MoD, for reasons best known to it, persists in ignoring all this evidence and thrusting a date one year earlier — May 10, 1950 — as the date of the birth of the Army Chief. Why? Many have commented that this is being done because the powers that be are more concerned with who the next Chief should be in their reckoning and not the facts of the case. This consistent, albeit moronic, stance of the MoD is not only wrong but is also designed to denigrate the image of the General and show him as a self-seeking individual who wants to remain in office for a few months more!

    In this perverted milieu, neither the political leadership nor the bureaucrats of the MoD seem to be concerned with the highly adverse repercussions this whole episode is having on the honour, morale and wellbeing of an institution that continues to be the only one in the country that enjoys the continuing respect and confidence of the populace. It is also the only institution that is the ultimate guarantor of the security of the nation. Consequently, its honour and image need to be preserved at all costs, lest the country suffers on account of acts of omission and commission by a few individuals who seem to be more concerned about their personal interests and not the interests of the nation.

    The question of the present Chief’s successor should never have been part of the correctness or otherwise of the case — the date of birth — as it is extraneous to the issue under consideration. The rules relating to the selection of a new Chief are very clear. A panel is drawn up of the four or five seniormost Army commanders or equivalent and the government then selects one. Of course, in the past, the government has been selecting the seniormost Army commander, but that is because the government chooses to adopt the easy and non-controversial option of seniority and not the one of merit, although in the past there have been at least two cases where the seniormost was not selected. Be that as it may, it should never have been the reason for ignoring the mass of documentary evidence that confirms the Chief’s date of birth as May 10, 1951. The government can, in any case, select whoever it wants as the next Chief from the panel. If there is a fear that the seniormost will then retire in the normal course, even this can be pre-empted by giving him an extension as was done in the case of General Bewoor a few decades back.

    Many right-thinking persons in the country are wondering why the MoD has created this unseemly controversy when the documentary evidence is clear and incontrovertible. Having served for over 40 years in the Army and having held many appointments at Army Headquarters where dealing with the MoD was a frequent affair, I can venture to outline a few reasons. The foremost is that the MoD and, indeed, the hierarchy of the government want either pliable officers or yes-men to head the services or those who can be pressurised to do their bidding on account of extraneous reasons. Any elaboration is neither needed nor desirable.

    An independent-thinking chief of a service, who is likely to take a firm stand when he disagrees with what the government wants, as in his military perception it will harm the military and/or the nation, is a big “no-no” for them. At the heart of such thinking are three aspects.
  • Firstly, the government has psyched itself to think that there is an ever-present danger of the military, especially the Army, as has happened in many neighbouring and Third World countries. This is despite the fact that no chief or any other officer of any service at any time since our Independence has shown even an inkling of such thinking. Such irrational thinking on the part of the government is not based on any facts or indicators, except the fear in the minds of the political leadership, which is periodically stoked by their so-called advisers for their own personal and obviously limited ends.
  • Secondly, the hierarchy is happy with the status quo and has little time for a dynamic person who points out faults/inconsistencies and, in bureaucratic parlance, “rocks the boat”! While many civilian officials demonstrate their loyalty by being yes-men/women, irrespective of the merits of each issue, as long as their own backs are covered and personal requirements, dubious or otherwise, are met, the training and make-up of military personnel preclude them from acting in this manner. On a number of issues the present Chief has asserted his independent views and hence the hierarchy perhaps feels that the sooner he disappears from the scene, the better for them! They seem to be least concerned with what is correct, what is legal and what is good for the nation and the Army.
  • Thirdly, such a hiatus is in consonance with the past actions of the government, where downgrading the military at every opportunity has now become a norm. This is apparently sought to be justified as strengthening “civil control”, but actually the concept seems to be least understood by our political leadership, irrespective of the party affiliations of the government in power at any particular time.

    Despite the technicalities advanced by the government, it is obvious that there has been little application of mind on this issue. This happens when bureaucratese supplants thinking and common sense! It is still not too late for the MoD to make amends so that faith in the correctness of the system is restored, at least to some degree.
    The writer is a former Vice-Chief of Army Staff.
    A Matter of Honour
  • Army Fake Encounters: Prosecute without sanction under AFSPA

    ‘No sanction needed for army men’s prosecution’: CBI to SC
    The CBI on Friday told the Supreme Court that no sanction was required either under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or Code of Criminal Procedure Code for prosecution of army officers allegedly involved in the fake encounter killings of five persons at Parthibal in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Senior counsel for CBI Ashok Bhan told a bench of justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar that the question of sanction would arise only after cognizance had been take by a magistrate, but in the present decade-old case the army chose to challenge the prosecution at the time of the charge sheet.

    ‘No sanction needed for army men`s prosecution’

    Seven people were gunned down by army personnel on March 25, 2000, at Pathribal in South Kashmir and they were branded as terrorists of Lashker-e-Taiba group who were responsible for the gunning down of 36 Sikhs at Chittisingpura in the same district on the intervening night of March 19-20, 2000.

    Citing a catena of apex court judgements, Bhan said, “Sanction is not required. Colour of duty is very important if it is not in accordance with the nature of duty and colour of office then no immunity is available to army officers.

    “Institution of the case is not necessarily to be accompanied by sanction and the question of sanction will arise only after cognizance had been taken under 190 CrPC.”

    Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran sought time from the bench for placing on record the Centre’s view on the controversy between CBI and army on the issue.

    ‘No sanction needed for army men`s prosecution’

    Bhan said the so-called weapons recovered from the scene of “fake encounter” was actually planted by army personnel.

    “Therefore, it is a case of fake encounter murders which cannot be immune under section 6 and 7 of AFSPA. So it will come under the ordinary penal law of the country, CBI does not need prior sanction,” he said. -via Zee News
    ‘No sanction needed for army men’s prosecution’: CBI to SC

    Potential army chief Bikram Singh gets clean chit.
    Monday, 16 January 2012 07:3
    Srinagar: The northern army commander, Lt General KT Parnaik, on Sunday virtually exonerated Eastern Command chief Lt General Bikram Singh in a fake-encounter controversy, saying a closure report had been filed after a joint investigation with police.
    Singh faces allegations that the I Sector Rashtriya Rifles unit in Kashmir, which he headed in 2001, faked a gunfight to kill a civilian and pass him off as a foreign militant at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag district.
    The "encounter" had killed a colonel, a soldier, two civilians and the alleged foreign militant, Mateen Chacha. Singh was left injured.
    The allegations arose last year after Singh emerged as the front-runner for the post of army chief following the row over the age of the incumbent, General VK Singh.
    click here to read more

    Comment: Army alongwith the Police needs to come clean on all fake encounters for which gallantry awards have been dispensed to the cowards. The culprits need to be brought to book!

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Netas and Babus spat over spoils of corruption

    Don’t complain, netas tell babus
    TNN | Feb 5, 2012, 12.14AM IST
    HYDERABAD: Describing the demands put forth by the IAS lobby as sheer blackmail, several political leaders said the agitating babus should remember that they are also part of the government. Any officer who is clean and honest need not worry about being prosecuted by the CBI, they said.

    "We were also questioned by the CBI officials. We never complained," said home minister P Sabita Indra Reddy. She opined that demanding the arrest of ministers in the same manner as the IAS officers is nothing but dictating terms to the CBI.
    Don’t complain, netas tell babus

    IAS officers up in arms
    Special Correspondent The Hindu 05 Feb 2012

    In an unprecedented development, over 70 IAS officers met Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday night and protested against the “manner” in which the CBI was investigating the cases relating to the assets of Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, and dilution of Government equity in Emaar Properties.

    Seventy of the 100 IAS officers who run administration from the Secretariat were part of the large delegation which met the Chief Minister at his camp office for 90 minutes. Expressing their displeasure, they sought his intervention to stop what they called “humiliation and harassment” by the CBI as part of its investigation.

    The decision to make a representation to the Chief Minister was taken at a meeting of A.P. IAS Officers' Association held earlier. The association building is interestingly located close to the Chief Minister's camp office. SMS and phone calls by the association to the members received an overwhelming response indicating that a storm was brewing in the bureaucracy.

    Prasanta Mahapatra and J. Raymond Peter, association's vice-president and general secretary respectively, serving as principal secretaries of Irrigation and Social Welfare departments, told reporters later that every decision taken by the government was after due consideration and approval of the Ministers. However, during the CBI investigation, only IAS officers were singled out and made scapegoats. The officers became party to the decisions while discharging their official duty. These included some high-stake decisions which were already known to the people.

    The two officers, however, maintained a stiff upper lip when asked if they meant the real culprits were Ministers. “How can we give good governance in this environment?” They contended that it appeared as though the CBI was conducting its investigation without knowing how the government would function and how the orders would be issued. The process of law was not being followed and government permission was not secured to prosecute an officer. Mr. Mahapatra suggested that it was high time that some elderly experienced administrators guided the CBI on this aspect. The situation called for exercising maturity.

    The Chief Minister was stated to have sympathised with the IAS , and assured that he would take “appropriate steps” to protect the innocent. Mr. Mahapatra parried a question if the Chief Minister meant a representation by him to the Prime Minister.

    Asked what they would do if he failed to take the “appropriate step”, he said, “That is a hypothetical question. We trust the Chief Minister.”

    Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy, however, did not indicate his mind on the pleas made by them that the government extend legal assistance and bear the expenditure for the IAS officers in the cases.
    IAS officers up in arms

    Gen VK Singh age row Government on back foot

    Wounded government plans its strategy
    The Supreme Court on Friday did not comment on the merit of the government's decision to reject the army chief's statutory complaint on his date of birth issue.

    But the harsh words from the apex court - that the decision making process was vitiated - hit the government hard.

    The defence ministry was not prepared for such strong criticism. In his statutory complaint to defence minister A.K Antony, General V.K. Singh had challenged an earlier order of the ministry to maintain his date of birth as May 10, 1950.

    Whatever is ultimately the outcome of the legal battle between the army chief and the defence ministry, the apex court's rap on the issue has come as a blow to the government just a day after the huge embarrassment of the 2g spectrum licences being cancelled
    Read more: General draws first blood: Government on back foot as Supreme Court points to procedural lapses in Army Chief's age row By Gayanant Singh and Gautam Datt at 4:15 PM on 4th February 2012


    The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
    Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
    This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
    The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
    Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)