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Lt Gen gets relief,10 more days to reply to Army Chief’s notice

The notice has put a question mark on his appointment as an Army Commander

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
May 30, 2012 1:42:33 am

Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag has been given a 10-day extension to reply to a show-cause notice sent by Army Chief General V K Singh. The notice has put a question mark on his appointment as an Army Commander. A discipline and vigilance (DV) ban has also been placed on the officer.

While Lt Gen Dalbir has till Wednesday to reply to the notice,the extension gives him a reprieve as Gen V K Singh — who initiated the matter — is retiring on Thursday,handing over charge to Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Bikram Singh. This means that a decision on whether or not to award the officer a ‘censure’ will be taken by Bikram Singh.

If a decision is taken against the censure,the DV would be lifted and there would be no hurdles in the way of appointing Lt Gen Dalbir as an Army Commander. The issue is critical as the officer is slated to take over as Army Chief in 2014.

After receiving a formal notification on the DV ban last Friday,the Defence Ministry had written to Army headquarters,asking for an explanation. On Monday,Defence Minister A K Antony had a 15 minute,one-on-one talk with the outgoing Army Chief.

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On Friday,the ministry had asked Army headquarters to submit all files and case details that led

to the imposition of the ban. The explanation had been demanded as the ministry was concerned that rules were bypassed by Army headquarters in imposing the ban.

The ministry was of the view that,as per rules,all major decisions by the outgoing Army Chief should be taken in consultation with Lt Gen Bikram Singh.

Two officers — Lt Gen Dalbir and Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra — are slated to take over as Army Commanders with two vacancies in the Eastern and Western Commands. While Singh was slated for Eastern,Chachra was believed to be heading for the Western Command before the controversy erupted.

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