The Army has ordered an inquiry against the Commander of an artillery brigade in Bathinda to investigate allegations of financial and procedural irregularities made against him.
Highly placed sources in the Army have informed The Indian Express that the one-man inquiry against the Brigadier (name withheld) has been ordered by the Jaipur-based South Western Command. It is being conducted by Maj Gen ARS Kahlon, who is the General Officer Commanding of an armoured division based in Hisar, Haryana.
It is learnt that the irregularities were pointed out in some complaints made to the South Western Command Headquarters following which the one-man inquiry was ordered. The irregularities pertain to the purported repairs which were to be done to the Gun House — the official residence of the artillery brigade commander — as well as the stay of a woman in the guest room of the officers mess which was booked in the name of the brigade commander.
When contacted a senior officer in the Army Headquarters confirmed that the inquiry was on. He further said that the one-man inquiry had been ordered to ascertain the allegations which had been made in the complaints and if there was any requirement to proceed further and order a full fledged Court of Inquiry. “The inquiry is still in progress and is yet to be finalised,” the officer said.
A one-man inquiry is often ordered in the Army to investigate certain allegations against officers at a preliminary stage. If any truth is found in the allegations then a formal Court of Inquiry is ordered in which there are three members including one officer senior in rank to the person against whom the inquiry is being held and two officers of similar rank as the person facing the inquiry.
The present Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has given strict instructions to deal with any incident of impropriety or moral turpitude with strong hands. There have been a number of cases in the past two and a half years where even senior officers have faced dismissal from service after having faced a General Courts Martial for the offences committed by them.