Vice Admiral Bimal Verma
Vice Admiral Bimal Verma

Karambir Singh's appointment to Naval Chief arbitrary, says Vice Admiral Bimal Verma in petition

ANI | Updated: Apr 08, 2019 18:39 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 8 (ANI): Vice Admiral Bimal Verma on Monday moved the Armed Forces Tribunal stating that the government had in an "arbitrary and whimsical" manner ignored the recommendation of the Chief of Naval Staff and appointed his junior Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next chief of the Indian Navy.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command in his petition has sought to know why he was overlooked as the next Navy chief despite being the senior most in terms of the length of service.
In a letter dated March 23, he stated that the government has "illegally" and in a "wrongful" manner appointed his junior Karambir Singh as the next Navy chief.
Verma will be represented by his daughter Rhea Verma at the Armed Forces Tribunal.
“The Government has appointed Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, Eastern Naval Commander as the next Chief of Naval Staff in place of Admiral Sunil Lanba who vacates the office on 31 May 2019,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Aman Anand said earlier on Monday.
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) East will be the first helicopter pilot of Indian Navy to become Chief Naval Staff.
Verma said that he feels that the respondents (government) have illegally and in a wrongful manner used the two letters of Severe Displeasure, which were issued to him in 2005 and 2007, to deny him the post of the Navy chief.
The two letters were issued to Verma on October 28, 2005, and June 20, 2007, and he was promoted to the rank of Commodore and Rear Admiral afterwards, thereby taking away the sting of the said letters.
Verma also said that "it is imperative that the Armed Forces court apply the 'Wednesbury rule' and consider whether relevant facts are not considered and irrelevant facts were considered by the respondents before passing the impugned letter.
The Naval headquarters forwarded the name of Verma along with Vice Admiral Karambir Singh and Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, the Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief Western Naval Command and Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, the Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief Southern Naval Command, to head the Navy.
Subsequently, the government decided on Karambir Singh to be the next Naval chief.
This was the second time, including the appointment of General Bipin Rawat as Army Chief in 2016, when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had not gone by seniority but merit among the senior most officers.
Hailing from Jalandhar in Punjab, Vice Admiral Karambir Singh graduated from Barnes School at Deolali in Maharashtra before joining the NDA.
As a helicopter pilot, Singh has flown Chetaks and Kamovs.
He commanded four ships at various stages of his career including the ICG Chandbibi (patrol craft of Indian Coast Guard), INS Vijaydurg (missile ship), INS Rana and INS Delhi (destroyers).
He also served as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at the headquarters in New Delhi before moving to Vishakhapatnam last year as Eastern Naval Commander. (ANI)