The Defence Ministry has shunted out Lt Gen Jatinder Singh,the commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA),after seven persons,including two Colonels posted under him,were arrested by the CBI which is probing an alleged bribery racket in the recruitment of Group C employees at the academy.
Lt Gen Singh was shifted on the orders of Defence Minister A K Antony after the CBI wrote to the ministry stating that he had to be removed in order to ensure a fair probe. Sources said the officer is set to be questioned by the agency in the coming days.
This is the first time that the head of the prestigious training academy has been transferred under a cloud. The shifting is with the view to ensure a free and fair investigation in the alleged bribery racket in the recruitment of Group C posts in the NDA, said the Defence Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday.
Sources said the decision was taken after the CBI wrote a letter to the defence ministry on Tuesday giving details of its investigation into the racket in which the accused allegedly charged Rs 3-4 lakh for the appointment of junior staff at the academy. The action is being seen as a sign that Lt Gen Singh will soon be questioned.
It is learnt that Lt Gen Singh will be placed as an additional officer at the Pune-based Southern Command and his second-in-command,Rear Admiral Anand Iyer,will take charge of the academy.
The move to shift Lt Gen Singh comes as the CBI widens its probe into the issue and is set to question several other officials including a Brigadier-level officer posted at the academy. The CBI has also arrested Col A K Singh,who was heading the recruitment board of the academy,after taking the main accused,Col Kulbir Singh,in custody last month.
The CBI has recovered Rs 1.71 crore during various raids across the nation in connection with the alleged scam.
Lt Gen Singh,who belongs to the Guards Regiment,was previously posted as the director general of the Rashtriya Rifles.