No vindictiveness in show cause notice: Army chief (Lead)May 26th, 2012 - 12:52 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) There was no vindictiveness in issuing a showcause notice to an officer who is in line to succeed the Indian Army chief-designate, incumbent Gen. V.K. Singh asserted Friday, even as he said a “360 degree evaluation” was required in promoting officers to higher ranks.
It was the “moral duty” of the officer concerned to answer the charge in the show cause notice issued to Lt.Gen. B.S. Suhag for a botched operation when he was a corps commander in the northeast, he said.
“There is no vindictiveness involved. The show cause notice was issued on facts. It is for the officer to reply on moral grounds and not go running to the media,” Gen. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the release of a book “Assault on Merit”, whose subtitle is “The untold story of civil-military relations”.
Noted lawyer R.K. Anand has written the book, which has been edited by veteran journalist Indrajit Bhadwaraj and has filmmaker Kunal Verma as a contributor.
The army chief had earlier this week issued a show cause notice to Lt. Gen. Suhag, who in normal course, will succeed Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh. Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh, the current commander of the Eastern Command, will become the army chief when Gen. V.K. Singh Singh retires May 31.
The show cause notice is the latest row involving Gen. V.K. Singh, who was engaged in a messy controversy involving his birth date that could have seen Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh being deprived of the top job. Gen. V.K.Singh backed off after the Supreme Court declined to interfere in the matter.
Indirectly alluding to the issue during the book release, Gen. V.K. Singh, dressed in civvies, said: “What we need for the future is a 360 degree evaluation by superior officers, peers and subordinates of the ability of an officer to lead. Only then will we be able to wholly judge the ability of an officer to lead in adversity.”
At the same time, he noted that the “sole ambition” of an Indian Army officer was to command the battalion he was commissioned into. “Everything else is a bonus,” he added.
Author Anand said the book was not specific to the Gen. V.K. Singh age controversy but about the “systematic harassment” by the government of senior army officers who had to approach the courts for protecting their seniority.
“The book, ultimately, is not only a wake-up call to mend the system and avoid further damage to it but also a tribute to India’s judges and judiciary who stood as a rock to protect the rule of law, condemned the violators, often in strong language, and delivered victories to the aggrieved,” Anand added.
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