Thursday 17 October 2019, 03:51 AM
Sacked army officer to challenge chief's decision
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/29/2012 12:00:00 AM
Sacked army officer to challenge chief's decision

New Delhi :  The Indian Army s former Military Secretary, Lt. Gen. Avadesh Prakash, whose dismissal from service by a court martial in a land scam was confirmed by army chief General V.K. Singh last week, Tuesday said he would challenge the decision in court.

I am going to take legal recourse and challenge the army chief s order, Lt. Gen. Avdesh Prakash said in a television interview. The sacked officer also attributed motives to Gen.

Singh upholding the court martial s order to strip him of his rank and retirement benefits after finding him guilty of a scam involving a 70-acre plot adjacent to the 33 Corps headquarters in Sukna military station in Siliguri district of West Bengal.

Gen. Singh has been interested in this case right from the beginning. This is against the basic principles of justice, he said while speaking to CNN-IBN. Why was a court of inquiry ordered six months after cancelling the memorandum of understanding between the army and the educational institution that was coming up on the land in Sukna, he asked.

It has been a difficult time both emotionally and mentally. After 40 years of service, an army man looks for honour, he added. He also dismissed the allegations that he was instrumental in reviving Gen. Singh s age row during his tenure as Military Secretary, saying the army chief himself was to be blamed for the issue cropping up once again. I don t understand why I am being blamed to be (the person) behind the age row, he said.

Accusing the army chief of being biased against him, Avadesh Prakash claimed the age row correspondence between the army headquarters and Gen. Singh took place before I took over as Military Secretary. The former Military Secretary said the army chief ensured that he got punished.

I have not been found guilty in Sukna land case. The punishment given to me is totally disproportionate to the charges levelled against me. I want to contest. I am following a code of conduct, never interacted with press. Even recommendations and findings of the case were leaked to the media, he said.

The Sukna land scam involves issuing of a no objection certificate by the 33 Corps headquarters to a Siliguri-based realtor to build and develop an educational institution, in lieu of which the wards of army officers and personnel from the military station would be provided admission to the institution.

After the scam broke out in 2009, a court of inquiry had held Avadesh Prakash and then 33 Corps commander Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath and three others blameworthy. While Rath and Prakash were court martialed and punished with dismissal from service, other officers were awarded administrative action.

These two lieutenant generals are the senior-most army officers to have been court martialed while in service and punished for wrongdoing.

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Sacked army officer to challenge chief s decision

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