Tue, Oct 25, 2016 | updated 08:41 AM IST

Affidavit row: Army Chief puts forth his stand before Parrikar

Updated: Aug 18, 2016 23:50 IST

New Delhi, Aug 18 (ANI): Army Chief General Dalbir Singh on Thursday briefed Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar about the affidavit that he has filed against former army chief General (Retd.) V.K. Singh. According to sources, General Singh informed Parrikar that he had filed the affidavit in 2012 when he was neither the Army Chief nor General (Retd.) Singh was the Union Minister.

This development comes after the opposition mounted the pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take cognizance of the matter and initiate proceedings accordingly.

General Suhag had filed the affidavit in personal capacity as 'private respondent' in 2012.

Having lost the case in the Armed Forces Tribunal, the complainant filed same case in the Supreme Court in 2014 in which General Dalbir Singh was again made 'private respondent'.

In an affidavit submitted in his personal capacity to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Army Chief has said that in 2012 he was sought to be victimised by the then COAS General V.K. Singh "with the sole purpose of denying me promotion to the appointment of Army Commander".

"False, baseless and imaginary allegations of lapses were levelled against me in the show cause notice" of May 19, 2012 and consequent imposition of an "illegal" discipline and vigilance (DV) ban, the Army chief has stated in his affidavit.

The affidavit was filed in 2012-13 in response to a petition moved by Lieutenant General (Retd.) Ravi Dastane, who alleged favouritism in Dalbir Singh's selection as the Army Commander, making him next in line to succeed General Bikram Singh.

Dalbir Singh was placed under a DV ban by V K Singh between April and May 2012 for alleged "failure of command and control" after a Court of Inquiry was ordered into an operation carried out in Jorhat, Assam, on the night of December 20-21, 2011 by the 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit.

Dalbir Singh was then General Officer Commanding of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps.

Referring to the Jorhat operation in his affidavit, he has stated "on that day, I was away on part of annual leave and rejoined duty on 26 Dec 2011".

His promotion as GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, with effect from June 15, 2012, was cleared by General Bikram Singh, who reversed the DV ban after V.K. Singh retired on May 31, 2012.

This delayed promotion, after reserving the vacant Army Commander's post for 15 days, was challenged by Dastane in the Supreme Court. He contended he was eligible to be Army Commander but was denied the opportunity by General Bikram Singh, who favoured Dalbir Singh despite the latter being under a DV ban at the relevant time.

Meanwhile, the CPI (M) and the Congress said the allegations against former army chief and V.K. Singh by incumbent General Dalbir Singh will send a very wrong message to the nation and asked Prime Minister Modi to take cognizance of this case.

"Such condition has never occurred in the history of nation, that an ex-Army chief and the Current Army chief are accusing each other and have even approached the court in this regard," said CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat.

"We have to believe the statement of the sitting Army Chief. Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to take note of the issue and immediately proceed to constitute an inquiry and take action against General (Retd.) V.K. Singh," Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala told ANI. (ANI)