New Delhi: The Armed Forces Tribunal
today dismissed the petition of a Lieutenant General relating
to appointment for the top post of the medical arm of the
Lt Gen Pradeep Bhargava had approached the Tribunal
with a plea for quashing some recent changes made in the
Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of Lt Gen Naresh Kumar,
arguing that these would hurt his chances of heading the Armed
Forces Medical Services (AFMS).
Bhargava`s plea was rejected by the Tribunal Bench
headed by Justice S S Kulshreshtha and Lt Gen (retd) S S
Dhillon, saying there was "no cause of action".
The Tribunal was of the view that the redressal given
to Kumar in his ACR was not impacting Bhargava in any way.
On Bhargava`s plea, the Tribunal had stayed the
appointment of Director General Armed Forces Medical Services
(DGAFMS) and the post has been lying vacant since July 1.
But after today`s judgement, the government is likely
to initiate the process for appointing the next DGAFMS soon.
Bhargava, Director General Hospital Services, had
argued that Kumar is junior to him and the changes made in the
ACR would affect his promotional avenues. According to
Bhargava, Kumar would become his seniors and would be the
front-runner for the post of DGAFMS.
Bhargava is the senior-most officer in the Army
Medical Corps after the retirement of former Director General
Lt Gen Naresh Parmar on June 30.
Both Bhargava and Kumar were cleared for promotion
from Maj Gen to Lt Gen by a Selection Board in 2008 after
being rejected earlier in 2007.
After some of the gradings in Kumar`s ACR of 2005 were
expunged, he is likely to be considered for promotion under
the Selection Board held in 2007, which will make him senior
to Bhargava and thus would be front-runner for the top post.
During the hearings, the Defence Ministry had argued
that Kumar`s review promotion board had not yet taken place
and it was not necessary that he would be cleared by it and
Bhargava`s petition was based on assumptions only.
AFMS is a tri-service organisation and is directly
under the Defence Ministry.