New Delhi: A top Army General faces the prospect of “termination of services”, while three other Generals either a court martial or administrative action with a probe holding them responsible for a land fraud at Darjeeling.
The Army headquarters in New Delhi said it had received the inquiry report on Wednesday from the authorities, who ordered the inquiry, and that it would analyse the details to the details to initiate action in accordance with military law.
The report, according to sources, had recommended “termination of serves” of Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, the military Secretary at the Army headquarters, as per Army Act and Army Rules “for unduly influencing” the transfer of the civilian land adjacent to Sukhna military station in Darjeeling to a private institution. It also directed court martial proceedings against Deputy Chief of Staff designate Lt Gen P K Rath and Major Gen PC Sen, under whose tenure at 33 Corps headquarters in Sukhna the land fraud took place for issuing a No Objection Certificate to the private institution, which falsely claimed to start an affiliate of Ajmer-based Mayo College in the 70-acre land, they said.
The report also recommended that Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, who is at present the 11 Corps commander at Jalandhar, and had a minor role in the NOC episode in his earlier tenure in Darjeeling, should face administrative action, sources added. Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen V K Singh, the convening authority of the probe, had a couple of days ago sent his recommendation to Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor seeking action against the four Generals for their alleged involvement in the land fraud.
“The Court of Inquiry has been completed and received by Army HQ today. The proceedings of the Inquiry will now be analysed as per the existing Standard Operating Procedures in accordance with the military law,” a Army spokesperson said in a statement in the capital. “It is reiterated that the Army is amongst the few organizations which which is very sensitive to any irregularities and have proactively sought immediate and teimely action against those indulging in worongs,” he added.
The Court of Inquiry (COI), headed by Lt Gen K T Parnaik, the General Officer Commanding of the Tezpur based 4 Corps , had held the four officers culpable for their role in issuing the NOC to Dilip Aggarwal Geetanjali Education Trust, much against the earlier Army stand that the NOC should not be issued.
After the Darjeeling land controversy broke out, Defence Minister A K Antony had ordered an independent probe and instructed the Army that even the top brass should not be spared if the charges were proved.