The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has restrained the Ministry of Defence from filling up the post of Director General Medical Services (Army) after finding that incorrect facts had been presented to a high level promotion board comprising Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force as a result of which a Major General was not approved for the rank of Lt General. The bench of Justice VK Shali and Lt General SK Singh has quashed the findings of the Review Promotion Board of Major General Manomoy Ganguly in March 2017 which had not found him sufficiently high in merit for the rank of Lt General. It has directed that Maj Gen Ganguly be put through a fresh Review Special Promotion Board to consider him for promotion to the rank of Lt General.
Maj Gen Ganguly had moved the AFT after he found that rules had been flouted in the proceedings of the board and consequently he had not been approved for the higher rank despite being eligible. He had averred in his petition that his non-empanelment for the rank of Lieutenant General in his Review Special Promotion Board (SPB) in Army Medical Corps was due to low figurative assessment in the board marks awarded to him by the board members, comprising Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff.
The bench found that incorrect data was presented to the board members by the Secretary of the Board. The Director General of Armed Forces Medical services (DGAFMS) was the member secretary of the review promotion board.
Coming down hard on the manner in which injustice was done to the petitioner, the bench has observed, “We are of the firm opinion that a serious misrepresentation of facts has been done by the Secretary of the Board in compiling the data and presenting wrongly to the board members”. It added that lower figurative assessment to the petitioner was a “pre-planned vested interest” in order to harm the chances of the petitioner and deny him a fair consideration in a level playing field. “We strongly feel that such acts need to be investigated and guilty brought to book,” the bench said.
The petitioner had brought out that he is an oncosurgeon with more than a thousand complex oncosurgeries to his credit. He is a professor of Surgeon for M.S. (General Surgery) courses of Delhi and GGSIP Universities, KGMU Lucknow and Rohtak University for over two decades. He is a Professor and an examiner for DND and MCh Onco-surgery for a number of cancer .
The next vacancy in Armed Forces Medical Services in the rank of Lt General is occurring on November 1, 2017 due to retirement of the present DGAFMS. If promoted to Lt General (with automatic restoration of his seniority), Maj Gen Ganguly will be the senior most AMC officer in Army with more than one year‟s residual service and he will be due for filling up the post of DGMS (Army) November 1.