Army HQ dumps complaint by Lt Gen

The Army Headquarters has recommended the rejection of a plea filed by a senior Lt Gen 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 had filed a statutory complaint in this regard with the Army Headquarters in August and the file has been forwarded to the Defence Ministry.

The Defence Ministry has already decided to send the plea to the Law Ministry for its advice on the matter.

The Army Headquarters has already recommended that the plea filed by Lt Gen Dastane should be rejected, Army sources told PTI here.

Lt Gen Dastane is also planning to move to the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) with two main pleas to seek elevation to the rank of Army Commander from June 1 this year retrospectively when two vacancies were existing, his counsel Maj S S Pandey had said.

The posts of Western and Eastern Army Commander had fallen vacant on May 31 after the retirement of Gen VK 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 VK Singh had put Lt Gen Suhag under a discipline and vigilance ban for a failed intelligence operation in Assam but it was lifted within 72 hours of Gen Bikram Singh's assuming office.

"On June 1, 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.

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