Rath says he has been vindicated,VK Singh wants govt to appeal

Rath says he has been vindicated,VK Singh wants govt to appeal

Former army commander PK Rath, who was given a clean chit by Armed Forces Tribunal in the Sukna land scam, today said the verdict has vindicated his stand while ex-army chief V K Singh demanded that the government should go for appeal against the military panel's judgement.

The Armed Forces Tribunal yesterday quashed the court martial of Lt Gen (retd) PK Rath, former Commander of 33 Corps who was punished for his alleged role in a land dealing in West Bengal.

"I have suffered so much because of this for all these years. But the tribunal's verdict has vindicated my stand," Rath told PTI over phone from Pune.

Asked on the role of former Army chief V K Singh, who is now a Union Minister, in his case, he said, "I would not like to get personal in these matters but I want to say that no person should be victimised by senior officers and the Army should ensure that it does not happen in future."

He said that "from day one, I have been telling the AFT and the Army authorities that I had done nothing wrong in the process but I am relieved that justice has been done".

Meanwhile, V K Singh said the government should go for an appeal against the verdict of the tribunal as all the procedures were duly followed during the Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged scam. Rath refused to comment on Singh's demand saying the ball was in government's court and it was up to it to take any decision in the matter.

The Tribunal allowed Rath's petition in which he had alleged that Gen V K Singh had given "undue importance" to the case as he had a "serious grudge" against the then Military Secretary Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash whom he held responsible for obtaining a commitment from him on the issue of his date of birth, which stood in the way of his extension of tenure as the Chief of the Army Staff.

The then military secretary, Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash, had also faced court martial in the case related to transfer of land adjacent to Sukna military station.

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