Promotion recommended for Lt Gen under CBI scanner

New Delhi: As CBI looks into Army Chief General V K Singh's letter seeking probe into the allegations of corruption against Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, Defence Minister A K Antony disclosed on Thursday that the official has been recommended for promotion as a Commander of a sector.

However, the Minister said he was not aware of the Army Chief referring a complaint of corruption levelled against the Lt Gen by a Trinamool Congress to CBI.

"Sometime back, during one of the meetings, the Army Chief told me about the particular Lt Gen. Immediately I told him if there is any specific complaint he must take action.

"But lately, the Army headquarters sent a proposal to send him as Army Commander in one sector. I think the proposal is of March 22 to make him Army Commander. The Defence Secretary cleared it and when I checked up today in my office, it is pending. So, this is my information. The other thing (CBI inquiry) I don't know," he said.

A media report revealing the Army Chief's action of referring the complaint against Lt Gen Suhag, who is in line to be the Army Chief after Lt Gen Bikram Singh, came on top of a battle of attrition between the government and Gen V K Singh in the last few days.

Meanwhile, CBI sources said it has received Gen Singh's covering letter along with the complaint from the TMC MP Ambika Banerjee relating to some corruption in a procurement deal.

It is likely to write to Cabinet Secretariat and Defence Ministry seeking records of purchases in the Special Frontier Force.

TMC MP Banerjee had written the letter to the Defence Ministry in May last year, the sources said. Gen Suhag commands the Dimapur-based 3 Corps.

Gen Singh has now requested the CBI to carry out the probe into the allegations of corruption levelled by the MP in the deals of Special Frontier Force(SFF) when Gen Suhag was its Inspector General, the sources said. The Force works with Indian external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Banerjee has alleged that kickbacks were paid in the deals relating to supply of crucial equipment for the secret force ranging from night vision devices to parachutes, the sources said.

The MP has named a number of senior army officers who have allegedly received kickbacks in these SFF deals, they claimed.

The SFF, also known as Establishment-22, is a secret force raised after 1962 works under the RAW which comes under the control of Cabinet Secretariat.

According to recent media reports, the force is facing a severe shortage of crucial equipment like parachutes as procurements were halted after allegations of irregularities in their procurement were brought to light by officers.