Defence Ministry accepts voluntary retirement plea of upset Navy Commander Sinha

Sinha had filed a complaint with Defence Ministry stating that if "justice" is not done to him, he should be granted voluntary retirement.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: April 21, 2014 8:34:19 pm

The Defence Ministry has accepted the voluntary retirement plea of Western Naval Commander Shekhar Sinha, who was upset over being superseded for the post of Navy Chief.

The charge of the command has been temporarily given to Vice Admiral P Karve, who is the Chief of Staff of the sword arm of the Navy, official sources said.

Upset over being superseded for the post of Navy Chief, Sinha had filed a complaint with Defence Ministry last week stating that if “justice” is not done to him, he should be granted voluntary retirement.

The Ministry has accepted his plea for voluntary retirement with immediate effect, the sources said. In his letter to the Ministry, Sinha had complained against being overlooked for the appointment to the top post, the sources said.

Admiral Robin Dhowan, who was the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, was appointed as the Navy Chief on April 17 superseding Sinha, who was the senior most Vice Admiral.

The post of Navy Chief had fallen vacant after the sudden resignation of Admiral DK Joshi on 26 February in the wake of a series of mishaps involving naval assets.

Sinha lost the race for the top post apparently because majority of the 14 mishaps, including two major submarine accidents, took place under his command during the last 10 months.

Joshi, who had 15 months left in service, resigned hours after the mishap involving submarine INS Sindhuratna in which two Navy officers were killed and several others injured.

Earlier in August last year, submarine INS Sindhurakshak sank at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, killing 18 personnel on board.

The sudden resignation by Joshi changed the line of succession in the Navy with Admiral Dhowan being appointed the chief  on Monday.

Had he retired in August next year as per his tenure, Southern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Satish Soni would have become the next chief.

In the changed scenario, National Defence College Commandant Vice Admiral Sunil Lamba is expected to succeed Dhowan in May 2016.

Meanwhile, Navy Chief Admiral Dhowan held meetings with officers, sailors and other staff of the Naval headquarters and urged them to chip in the process of strengthening the Navy, officials said.

They said the Navy chief wants to make everyone accountable for implementing the plans and programmes of the naval headquarters.

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