New Delhi: Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag has accused his former boss and present Union minister VK Singh of trying to victimise and deny him a promotion, his affidavit in the Supreme Court has showed.
His affidavit, which was accessed by CNN-News18 said, “With mischievous design, malafide intent and to arbitrarily punish me without following principles of natural justice, issued a showcause notice which contained unsubstantiated facts and vague allegations”.
The affidavit was signed in July, which makes it an extremely rare instance when a serving Army chief has spoken out against his predecessor and a minister. General Dalbir Singh said VK Singh issued the showcause notice against him with the sole intention of denying him future promotion as army chief.
The incident which is being referred to happened in 2012 when VK Singh as army chief ordered an inquiry into an operation in Jorhat, Assam which involved Dalbir Singh. The army chief found “failure of command and control” on the part of Dalbir Singh and subsequently placed him under a Discipline and Vigilance(DV) Ban.
After VK Singh retired in May 2012, the next incumbent General Bikram Singh lifted the ban and made Dalbir Singh the GOC-in-C of Eastern Command. In July 2014, General Dalbir Singh Suhag was appointed the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS)
General Suhag’s present affidavit in the SC was in response to a plea filed by another top officer, Lt Gen (Retd) Ravi Dastane, who argued that this elevation pushed him ahead in the line for the top job in the Army.
The affidavit further went on to say: “The passing of directions for initiating administrative action against me after about one month of having already finalised the Court of Inquiry smacks of a motivated, biased, arbitrary and malicious intent to punish me which the then COAS executed apparently as planned by him.”
He added that it was now “revealed clearly” that the imposition of DV ban by VK Singh was “illegal and premeditated”. The last time a similar incident happened was in the 1960s when General Thimayya took on the then Defence Minister Krishna Menon over preparedness of the armed forces.