New Delhi: The Defence Ministry is seeking the advice of the Law Ministry on a senior Lt Gen`s plea to seek elevation as an Army Commander from June 1 which, if accepted, can create a possible succession row in the force.
Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Ravi Dastane is planning to file a petition in the Armed Forces Tribunal in this regard in the next few days, his counsel Major SS Pandey said.
"We are going to seek the advise of the Law Ministry before taking a decision on the Statutory Complaint sent by Lt Gen Ravi Dastane to the Army Headquarters and the Defence Ministry," Defence Ministry officials said here.
Defence Minister AK Antony wants all legal aspects of the plea moved by the Lt Gen to be examined carefully before taking a final call on it, they said.
Lt Gen Dastane is planning to make two main pleas before the Tribunal where he will seek elevation to the rank of Army Commander from June 1 this year retrospectively when two vacancies were existing, his counsel said.
The posts of Western and Eastern Army Commander had fallen vacant on May 31 after the retirement of Gen VK Singh, who was succeeded by Lt Gen Bikram Singh, and the Western Army Commander Lt Gen Shankar Ranjan Ghosh. Lt Gen Bikram Singh had headed the Eastern Command.
The Government had kept the post of Eastern Army Commander vacant for two to three days before Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag was appointed whereas Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachhra was appointed as the Western Army Commander on June 1.
The post was not filled as just before retirement, Gen VK Singh had put Lt Gen Suhag under a discipline and vigilance ban for a failed intelligence operation in Assam but it was lifted within 72 hours of Gen Bikram Singh`s assuming office.
"On June 1, Lt Gen Dastane was also eligible to be elevated as an Army Commander and we will plead before the AFT to give us that appointment," Pandey said.
If the plea is accepted, then Lt Gen Dastane may become senior to Lt Gen Suhag who is expected to succeed Gen Bikram Singh in July 2014 after his retirement.