Chiefs of armed forces to depose before Parl Panel
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Last Updated: Monday, April 09, 2012, 20:56
  
New Delhi: In an extraordinary step, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence on Monday decided to call the three service chiefs to give an account of the state of preparedness of the forces against the backdrop of Army Chief Gen VK Singh speaking of shortages and deficiencies.

The decision to call the Chiefs of Army, Air and Navy before it on April 20 was part of an exercise to understand the issue of defence preparedness as the panel was examining the budgetary proposals of the Defence Ministry for 2012-13, sources said.

The sources said the date for appearance could be adjusted to ensure that all the three Chiefs are available on the same day.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Committee which also heard Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma confirming that the army did not need to notify the government on their movements and that the exercise of January 16-17 reported in the media was a "routine drill".

Sharma underlined that no standard operating procedures were violated by the Army and the media report was "misleading" and drew "wrong inferences", the sources said.

Satisfied by the Defence Secretary's contention, Committee members like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Manish Tewari, Naresh Gujral and Uday Singh said the matter should be treated as closed, the sources said.

A newspaper media had created a sensation last week when it said that two units of army, one based in Agra in Uttar Pradesh and another in Hissar in Haryana, had moved towards Delhi on the day the Army Chief went to the Supreme Court against the government on the issue of his date of birth.

PTI


First Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 20:56


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