Sukna land scam: Action against Army Generals soon

Last Updated: Monday, January 11, 2010 - 20:14

New Delhi: A decision on the action against
four Generals, including Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh
Prakash, involved in a land scam in Darjeeling is expected
in a couple of days.

"Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor is close to finalising
the course of action against the three Lt Gens, a Major
General and a Colonel, who were earlier found to be `culpable`
in the scam involving the sale of a civilian land adjacent to
the Sukna military station near Darjeeling. The decision will
come in a day or two," an Army source said here.

Lt Gen P K Rath, whose appointment as the Deputy Chief of
Army Staff was withdrawn following the probe, 11 Corps
Commander Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali, Maj Gen P Sen, apart from Lt
Gen Prakash, were named by the Army probe for issuing a No
Objection Certificate to a private realtor, who falsely
represented to open an affiliate of the famed Ajmer-based Mayo
College, much against earlier objection from Army authorities.

Only last week, the Discipline and Vigilance (DV) Branch
under Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal, the Adjutant General in the
Army Headquarters, had upheld recommendations of Eastern Army
Commander Lt Gen V K Singh for disciplinary or administrative
action against the four Generals in the case.

Reports had suggested that Lt Gen Singh has recommended
sacking of Lt Gen Prakash, and disciplinary action against the
other three Generals.

Lt Gen Prakash is on the verge of retirement and will be
out of the Army on January 31. But under Army law, he can
still face action within three years of his retirement.

The Army Chief, sources said, could resort to any of the
three options against the Generals.

One, he could accept the recommendations and order
disciplinary action against them, in which case a show cause
notice would be issued to the General with a month`s time for
them to reply.

Later, a Summary of Evidence would be gathered after
issuing a charge sheet to the Generals and if there was a
prima-facie case against them, then a Court Martial proceeding
would be initiated to give them an opportunity to defend
themselves.

If the Court Martial finds the Generals guilty, then the
punishment could range from a censure to cashiering from
service.

Secondly, Gen Kapoor could initiate administrative action
against the Generals that could also range from censure to a
dismissal.

If dismissal is directed, then the procedure for the same
would be taken up by the Defence Ministry, which could mean
the President could withdraw appointments of the Generals
in the Army.

The third option with the Army Chief is to reject the
probe findings and let off the Generals, the source added.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 11, 2010 - 20:14

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