Army chief, Ministry in fresh spat

Defence Ministry blocks Gen V K Singhs proposal; calls for new names

Army chief, Ministry in fresh spat

Differences between the Defence Ministry and the Army Chief Gen V K Singh appeared to be continuing with the Ministry blocking his proposal for appointment of a top military official to the post of Director General of Assam Rifles.

Gen Singh had recommended the name of Lt Gen A K Choudhary, who is the Director General Military Operations (DGMO), for the post in a proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

But the MHA, which exercises control over the Assam Rifles, was asked not to consider the proposal by the Defence Ministry which raised objections as it did not have the approval of the Defence Secretary or any other competent authority, sources said.

The Defence Ministry has now asked the army to propose a fresh panel of officers for the appointment but the latter has not yet responded, they said.

Earlier, the army had nominated a panel of three officers including Lt Gen Choudhary and Adjutant General Lt Gen J P Nehra.

It is unusual that army is approaching the MHA directly bypassing the Defence Ministry as normally all such proposals are approved by it before they are forwarded to other ministries, they said.
They said the appointment of previous incumbent Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy in 2010 had the sanction of the Defence Ministry.

The post of DG, Assam Rifles has been lying vacant since February 22 after the army kept pressing the MHA to repatriate Lt Gen Roy back to his parent service.

Sources said it is doubtful whether the recall of Lt Gen Roy had the sanction of the Defence Ministry
as the communication sent to him by the MHA in this regard referred to a letter by the Army only.

Army sought Roy’s recall

The Army had sought Roy’s recall from the MHA accusing him of involvement in financial misappropriation, a charge which could not be proved in an inquiry.

Relations between the army and the Defence Ministry were adversely impacted after Gen V K Singh alleged that the Defence Ministry was “biased” and “lacked objectivity” on his age issue.

Aircraft deal: MoD, BSF on CBI radar

New Delhi, PTI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought documents from the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Defence Ministry regarding alleged irregularities in the procurement process of two aircraft for the border guarding force.
The agency has initiated its probe in the Rs 1,500-crore deal for two medium transport aircraft for the BSF five days ago. It has asked them to provide documents related to tendering process in the deal, finalised in 2009 and stalled a year later as the alleged irregularities came to light, the CBI sources said.
The probe, which has been initiated against “unknown” officials of the Defence Ministry, is likely to be completed within three months, they said.
The case relates to allegations that signatures of two senior BSF officials were forged while finalising the report of Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) related to the purchase of the aircraft.

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