The SC Monday turned down the Centre’s request to wrap up proceedings on a petition filed by Lt General Ravi Dastane against the appointment of Dalbir Singh as Army chief following Dastane’s retirement.
A bench led by Justice T S Thakur said that there were various issues related to Dastane’s service that were yet to be adjudicated, hence the court would hear his petition in due course. “What if this petition succeeds in certain prayers? There will be issues relating to his service that we will need to decide in that case. Let this petition be listed in due course,” said the bench.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had earlier pleaded that the bench dispose of the case, stating that the petitioner had already retired. He said that besides getting some allowances, no other relief could be secured by Dastane after he has superannuated from the service.
Dastane’s counsel R K Anand, however, said that the question of seniority remained to be decided and that the basic contention in the petition related to whether Dastane was entitled to be promoted as Army commander or not.
On the last date, the bench had refused to stall Dalbir Singh’s appointment as the Army chief, pointing out that Dastane’s grievances pertained chiefly to his appointment as Army commander and not appointment of the Army Chief.
Dastane retired on August 31 while Dalbir Singh’s appointment took effect from August 1.