Court of Inquiry against Brigadier for ‘misconduct’

The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry against a serving Brigadier on various charges,including illegally obtaining phone call records of “women and junior officers” and misusing Military Intelligence funds.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Published: July 30, 2012 3:24:02 am

The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) against a serving Brigadier on various charges,including illegally obtaining phone call records of “women and junior officers” and misusing Military Intelligence funds.

Brigadier H M S Chhatwal,against whom the CoI has been ordered,is the Commander of 16 Independent Armoured Division at Pathankot. The charges have been levelled by Chhatwal’s deputy Colonel R K Magotra.

Sources disclosed that major charges levelled against Chhatwal are: illegally obtaining phone call records and details of women and junior officers; misuse of the Military Intelligence funds and Command Welfare funds; purchasing two vehicles and getting them modified using Command Welfare funds; and cutting of 60 trees in the Brigade’s area and selling them.

The sources said Magotra had sought an appointment with Lt General A S Chhabewal,General Officer Commanding (GOC),2 Corps,where he accused Chhatwal of gross misconduct on several counts following which the CoI was ordered.

The Western Command sources said Major General P K Shrivastava had been appointed as the Presiding Officer for the CoI while the two other members are Deputy GOC,1 Armoured Division,Patiala and Deputy Director (EME),2 Corps,Ambala.

According to the sources,the Army has already got a one-man inquiry conducted in the issue,which was done by the GOC (Punjab,Haryana and Himachal Pradesh sub area) headquarters at Ambala. However,the findings of this inquiry is not yet known. The one-man inquiry is first conducted to see if the charges levelled against any officer of the Army hold any substance. The CoI is ordered if the inquiry finds substantial evidence against the officer.

Despite several attempts,the Army’s version could not be obtained. The Western Command did not respond to the questionnaire sent by The Indian Express. Officers of the Western Command’s Administration and Military Intelligence Branch refused to be quoted and expressed ignorance of any such order.

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