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Scrapping of free rations: Army issues show cause to Colonel who shot off legal notice to defence secretary

Acting on the directions of the Discipline and Vigilance branch of the Army Headquarters, the show cause notice was issued on Monday to Colonel Mukul Dev, posted as Deputy Judge Advocate General in Jodhpur-based 12 Corps.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh |
February 23, 2018 3:07:17 am

The Indian Army has issued a show cause notice for administrative action to a Colonel who had issued a legal notice to the Defence secretary in July 2017, demanding that the government orders withdrawing free rations to officers posted in peace areas should be immediately canceled.

Acting on the directions of the Discipline and Vigilance branch of the Army Headquarters, the show cause notice was issued on Monday to Colonel Mukul Dev, posted as Deputy Judge Advocate General in Jodhpur-based 12 Corps.

Colonel Dev has been accused of not following the laid down procedure when he sent a legal notice to Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra on July 1, 2017. The show cause notice, accessed by The Indian Express, stated that the officer had to exhaust alternative remedy under the Army Act and hence he was required to seek redressal of grievance through proper channel from the organisation.

Accusing the Colonel of having violated regulations of the army, the notice stated that the “competent authority has viewed the misconduct of you violating the provisions of regulations of army seriously and directed that administrative action be initiated against you. You are hereby afforded an opportunity to explain your conduct on the lapses and show cause as to why the censure of the general officer commanding 12 Corps should not be conveyed to you”.

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In response to this notice, the Colonel moved the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in New Delhi stating that his fundamental right to seek legal remedy has not been abrogated till now through any law. He added that his serving of the legal notice to the Defence secretary cannot be termed as unlawful and no action can be taken against him.
Among the respondents, the officer named the Defence secretary, chief of Army staff, a former judge, advocate general major general V C Chitravanshi (retd), and two serving officers, Brig Raghu Srinivasan and Colonel Niranjan S Jog.

Col. Dev stated in his petition that the show cause notice had been deliberately issued to him to deprive him of his legitimate right to fair consideration by a selection board for promotion to the rank of Brigadier. He has now been placed under Discipline and Vigilance Ban for promotion. Colonel Dev had already filed a petition regarding this in the AFT.

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