Defence ministry red-flags Maj Gen's promotion over impropriety

 The Defence Ministry has red flagged the proposed promotion of a Major General following allegations of impropriety.

New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has red flagged the proposed promotion of a Major General following allegations of impropriety.

Defence sources said a meeting of the Special Promotion Board of the Army was held recently to fill up the vacancy of three Lieutenant Generals for which about 33 officers were considered.

They said a set of names cleared by the Board was sent to the Defence Ministry.

However, following the meeting of the Board, a series of complaints against the officer surfaced, many of which were being circulated on the social media too.

Taking cognizance of the matter, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is himself verifying the authenticity of the complaints.

It was found that the particular officer had faced a CBI inquiry few years back over allegations of corruption in a project undertaken by Border Roads Organisation, sources said.

The CBI did not find enough evidence for criminal prosecution. "They suggested that this does not fall in the ambit of criminality, it falls in the ambit of disciplinary procedure guidelines", they added.

"BRO is a mixed cadre organisation. The matter came to the Army. The Army said that the act pertained to civilian issues and hence action cannot be taken up by them. The matter got tossed from here to there as army disciplinary proceeding is different from that of the civilians," the sources said, adding the actual proceedings have not started.

In the meantime, his promotion came up and he got the Discipline and Vigilance (DV) clearance since there was formal proceedings against him.

"The recommendation came to the ministry but the Ministry has not (yet) accepted the recommendation," the sources said.

Once the promotion Board meets, the recommendations are sent to the Defence Ministry which does it own checks and balances, sources said, adding it is common for the results to come out after 2-3 months as it goes through various levels of scrutiny.

The development comes at a time when another senior officer of the Army is facing allegations of graft.

Parrikar is likely to decide by Monday whether any formal inquiry needs to be constituted to look into these issues, sources said. 

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