Army Chief assures justice for indicted generals

“I will take into account culpability of the individual. Justice will not be swayed by extraneous conditions and will not be influenced by personal biases and media pressure,” Kapoor said on the eve of the 62nd Army Day.

The top two indicted generals are Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, one of his principal staff officers at Army headquarters and current military secretary who looks after transfer and postings and Lt Gen P K Rath who was the commanding officer of 33 Corps at Sukhna in Darjeeling. Other two guilty officers are Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj Gen P Sen. Both were at Sukhna.

All were served show cause notices on Monday by the Adjutant General(AG) after a Court of Inquiry(CoI) headed by Lt Gen V K Singh, commander-in-chief of the Eastern Army Command in Kolkata, found prima facie evidence on the involvement of the four generals in facilitating a commercial deal involving a north Bengal-based real estate developer.

Gen Prakash was asked to submit his response within 15 days instead of regular 30 days. The response time was halved because Prakash retires on Jan 30.
A section of the Army officers suspects Prakash – considered close to Kapoor – may get away with a lighter punishment ignoring the CoI recommendation of a harsher punishment. There are speculations about a rift between Kapoor and Singh — the designated next Army chief — on this issue. Kapoor, due to retire on March 31, denied having such rift with Singh.

The raging controversy has rocked the South Block and tarnished the image of the Army so much that Defence minister A K Antony sought a separate report from the defence secretary on what action the Army Chief was taking to punish the guilty.
There are reports that the AG suggested administrative action against Prakash, Halgali and Sen. Displinary action that can lead to a Court Martial was recommended only for Rath.

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