Def Min forms panel to select next Army Chief

Defence Ministry seems to have moved on from the controversy as it formed a panel of officers for appointment of General VK Singh`s successor.

Last Updated: Jan 04, 2012, 21:59 PM IST

New Delhi: After rejecting army chief General
VK Singh`s plea on his age issue, Defence Ministry seems to
have moved on from the controversy as it formed a panel of
officers for appointment of his successor.

The Defence Ministry has formed a panel of officers
including senior-most Lieutenant Generals for selecting the
next army chief, sources said here.
The three senior-most officers are Eastern Army Commander
Lt Gen Bikram Singh, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen K T
Parnaik and present Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Shri Krishna
Singh.

The sources said Western Army Commander Lt Gen Shankar
Rajan Ghosh, who will retire on May 31 when the tenure of the
current army chief ends, is not being considered for the
appointment.

Traditionally, the senior-most officer from the panel is
appointed as the army chief. In this case, Lt Gen Bikram Singh
is the senior-most and most-likely to be appointed for the top
post.

Of the remaining two officers, Lt Gen Parnaik is senior
to Lt Gen Shri Krishna.
The sources said there is a possibility that Defence
Ministry may declare Singh`s successor much in advance to meet
"any eventuality".

Under normal circumstances also, government announces
names of successors of defence chiefs two to three months in
advance.

On December 30, Defence Minister A K Antony rejected Gen
Singh`s statutory complaint for accepting May 10, 1951 as his
date of birth, which would have given him an extra ten months
in office.

If the plea had been accepted, Lt Gen Parnaik would have
become the Army Chief after Gen Singh`s retirement on March 31
next year.

PTI