Tribunal slams Army, MoD for promoting Brigadier

Tribunal slams Army, MoD  for promoting Brigadier

The Army and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have received sharp criticism from the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) for promoting a Brigadier twice in violation of the norms and later hiding vital facts from the tribunal when his promotion was legally challenged.

The officer was recently cleared for the Lt General rank even as the Lucknow branch of the AFT found him unsuitable even for his existing two-star rank. 

“He seems to be not eligible for promotion even to the rank of Major General,” the AFT said in an order issued on Wednesday.

The quasi-judicial body came down heavily on the defence ministry and Army for concealing facts before the tribunal while promoting the Brigadier. The people involved in the process committed a fraud, ruled the AFT.

Army sources, however, pointed out that the tribunal dismissed its 2012 review petition opposing the promotion and he was elevated because of a previous AFT order.

Its the rivalry between two 1979 batch officers from the Army Ordnance Corps – Maj Gen R S Rathore and Brig N K Mehta – that resulted in AFT litigation in Delhi and Lucknow.

When their promotion board came up in 2011, Rathore was selected, but he could not pick up the rank pending the resolution of a disciplinary and vigilance ban.

Mehta was found ineligible by the board as he did not fulfil the requisite criterion.

Mehta was subsequently found ineligible by another special board convened by the MoD. But he received his promotion, thanks to a 2012 order from the AFT.

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