The Centre has filed a caveat demanding to be heard in the Supreme Court in a PIL filed by a group of former bureaucrats and armed force officers against the appointment of Lieutenant General Bikram Singh as the next Army chief.
The PIL is scheduled to be heard before a Bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale on Monday (April 23).
The same Bench had earlier heard a petition filed by current Army Chief General V K Singh seeking a finality to the age row controversy.
The 60-page PIL,filed by Admiral (retd) Ramdas,veteran journalist Sam Rajappa,former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and activist and former civil servant M G Devasahayam,says Singh’s appointment was motivated by personal and political considerations.
The PIL mentions three instances involving Singh’s official past and questions the eligibility of the Lt General to lead the 1.3 million-strong Army when there is a pending litigation against him in a high court,which may lead to a criminal trial.
It refers to the apex court decision to quash the appointment of P J Thomas as chief vigilance commissioner after his eligibility to occupy the post had come under a cloud. Going by this,Bikram Singh cannot be considered an officer who will be able to “independently and impartially command the Indian Army”,the petition says.
Bikram Singh currently heads the Eastern Command and is scheduled to take over as Army chief on May 31,2012.