More trouble for army’s former military secretary

August 23rd, 2011 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Indian Army’s former military secretary Lt. Gen. (retd) Avadesh Prakash may soon face charges under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly removing confidential documents out of the army headquarters.

According to defence ministry sources, Prakash may be charge-sheeted and a formal decision on whether to prosecute him through a court martial on these charges would be taken soon.

A court of inquiry in the charges against him under the act has been completed, a senior army official said here Tuesday.

Prakash, who retired from service in January 2010, is already facing a court martial that convened in Guwahati in June this year in connection with the transfer of a land adjacent to Sukna military station.

The present charges relate to documents on present army chief General V.K. Singh’s age getting into the public domain in recent months.

General V.K. Singh was then Eastern Army Commander based in Kolkata when he had initiated investigations in the Sukna land transfer episode for which Prakash is being court-martialled now.

Controversy is raging if Gen. Singh’s date of birth is May 10, 1950, as entered in documents held by the army’s military secretary’s branch that handles promotions and postings, or May 10, 1951, as maintained by the army’s adjutant general’s branch that deals with pay and perks and is also the custodian of official documents of personnel.

Gen. Singh has claimed he was born in 1951 by presenting documents such as his school leaving certificate to the defence ministry and has sought changing his date of birth in all official records.

But the defence ministry has rejected this demand and has ordered maintenance of status quo on the age issue.

The adjutant branch has sought clarification from the defence ministry on the legal validity of its July 22 order to maintain 1950 as the army chief’s year of birth.

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