Over three years after the allegations first surfaced, the Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged wrongdoings by the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) — the department tasked with ensuring post-retirement employment to services personnel. The high-level inquiry, headed by a Lt General and two Major Generals, will begin work early next week. The CBI is already probing allegations against the DGR.
“The inquiry has been ordered on the directions of Headquarters, Western Command, based at Chandimandir. The inquiry will be presided by Lt Gen Balbir Singh Sandhu, DG, Information Technology (IT). It will look into the allegations of irregularities, illegalities in functioning of DG Resettlement. The inquiry will cover period starting from October 2008,” an officer told The Indian Express.
DGR, a department under the Defence Ministry, looks after post retirement employment of officers and men of the three services. The CBI had in May 2014 launched a preliminary probe against the DGR to look into allotment of agencies to officers/men through middlemen, multiple agencies being allotted to the same individuals, fake identity records of Army officers, and forging of identities.
Cases of tax evasion, to the tune of multiple crores, are also under the scanner of tax authorities. The DGR also sells old, out-of-use vehicles of the Army to retired military men. Interested parties have to submit security deposits with the DGR before purchasing the vehicles.
It has been alleged that over three years, between 2009-11, deposits worth Rs 2.56 crore have gone missing from the DGR accounts.
In fact, the Army also registered an FIR at R K Puram Police Station on May 1 against an upper divisional clerk in this regard. The latest inquiry will also look into this.
An Army officer, on condition of anonymity, said if the charges, as alleged, are established by the CoI, action will be taken against culprits. “It is important that the system that functions under DGR is cleansed. The irregularities have become a part of the system,” said an officer, who is the whistleblower in the matter.
When approached for comment, Army authorities said that DGR functions directly under the MoD and not under the Army.