An Indian Navy officer who is a whistleblower in a case involving alleged financial and procedural irregularities by a serving Major General, has complained that the Court of Inquiry is not being finalised by NCC Headquarters despite being completed nearly 10 months back. He added that he had been repeatedly harassed while it was being conducted.
In a complaint addressed to the Director General of NCC with a copy to the Chief of Naval Staff, Captain Manish Rao has said that the inquiry had been completed in July 2015 but it has not reached its logical conclusion yet. The letter, accessed by The Indian Express, states that “On constitution of the court of inquiry, I had been repeatedly harassed at NCC Directorate, Maharashtra and I had to bring up the issue with the headquarters of DG NCC to get respite”.
The naval officer has also complained that during the conduct of the inquiry there were occasions when he was denied access to documents and not given opportunity to present facts in correct perspective and deliberate efforts were made to twist and trivialise the issue.
“Despite the immense agony I went though professionally and personally, I completely cooperated with the court of inquiry because I was convinced that the facts submitted by me are irrefutable and justified. I repose faith in the armed forces process of dispensation of justice and I understand that the court of inquiry report was submitted in end of July and being time bound, in normal circumstances it should have been disposed off,” the complainant states.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that an inquiry held been held against the Major General Subodh Kumar, then Additional Director General NCC, Maharashtra, who is now posted as Major General-in-charge Administration, Western Command, Chandimandir, into allegations leveled against him by his subordinate, Captain Manish Rao. The allegations were made about misuse the of Rs 72 lakh worth of ‘Office Contingency Grant’ being used at his official residence to purchase various items, misuse of Civil Hired Transport, playing golf during office hours and misappropriation of regimental fund. The findings of the inquiry are under processing at the NCC Headquarters since end of July 2015.
A query sent to the Joint Director Publicity of NCC Headquarters in New Delhi, who is also the official spokesperson, Lt Col Umang Kohli, asking about the fate of the inquiry went unanswered. Lt Col Kohli also did not reply to text message sent to him on his official mobile phone number.
While the inquiry still remains under wraps, The Indian Express had found that it had made wide-ranging suggestions to improve the organisation, saying it was “largely manned by superseded and less motivated officers”. Other suggestions included avoiding playing golf during office hours and not consuming liquor in the presence of cadets. The remedial measures suggested by the inquiry ― which was signed by Major General AK Sehgal, Additional Director General NCC, Delhi and Major General AK Ghosh, Additional Director General NCC West Bengal and Sikkim ― explicitly deal with one allegation about playing golf with officers during office hours. The report states that, “While declaring an administrative day, or breaking off concerned people early is well within the preview of the Additional Director General, the practice of playing golf during office hours must be dissuaded”.
On consumption of liquor in the presence of NCC cadets at an official function, the inquiry had said the NCC Headquarters should pass a cautionary advisory on this as such practices were “best avoided”.