NEW DELHI (TIP): Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh has accused former chief of staff Gen (retd) V K Singh, now a Minister of State for External Affairs, of showing “malafide intent” to
“arbitrarily punish” him and stall his promotion.
This is possibly for the first time a serving Indian Army chief has openly charged a minister in the Supreme Court.
“Then army chief (V K Singh) with mischievous design, malafide intent and to arbitrarily punish me without following the principles of natural justice, issued a show cause notice, which contained unsubstantiated facts and vague allegations,” Gen Dalbir Singh said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The army chief on Thursday met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to explain why he had to file the affidavit in his personal capacity while responding to a petition moved by Lt Gen (retd) Ravi Dastane who had alleged “favouritism” during his selection as the army commander. Lt Gen (retd) Dastane moved the apex court after the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) ruled in favour of Gen Dalbir Singh, who took the same position before the AFT in 2012. There is a long-standing feud between the two generals with Gen Dalbir Singh accusing V K Singh of attempting to stall his career progress. Towards the end of his tenure, V K Singh imposed a “discipline and vigilance” ban on Gen Dalbir Singh (then Lt Gen), for his failure in “command and control” for a botched up intelligence operation in Jorhat in December 2011. The ban was lifted by Gen Bikram Singh once he succeeded Gen V K Singh.