Darjeeling Land Scam
Army initiates action against the tainted Generals :
Ajay Banerjee: Tribune News Service.
New Delhi, January 12: The Army today initiated disciplinary
action against a senior Lieutenant General which could lead
to a court martial, while separately administrative action has
been initiated against three other top officers for their role in
a land scam in West Bengal.
Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had directed Adjutant General,
Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal to issue notices for taking action
against Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, Lt Gen PK
Rath, Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Major General P Sen, after a
probe had reportedly held them culpable in the land scam.
The scope of the administrative action will be as wide as
warning to termination from service. This means the Military
Secretary will be saved from the ignominy of facing a sack.
Senior Army officers said here that disciplinary action had
been initiated against Lt Gen Rath, who had a major role to
play in the issuance of signing of a memorandum of
understanding with a private realtor for a 70-acre plot
adjacent to the Sukna military station near Darjeeling.
Rath during the court of inquiry had blamed the Military
Secretary. However, officials explained that this was not
enough for Rath to escape as he was the one who ultimately
signed the papers in his previous capacity as GOC 33 corps.
Lt Gen PK Rath was the deputy chief-designate, however,
his appointment had been put on hold. Lt Gen GM Nair,
who is the outgoing GOC 9 corps Yol Camp, is tipped to the
deputy chief. Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash and two other generals
have been served a show-cause notice.
The Army chief submitted his recommendation to the Ministry
of Defence after going through the findings of the court of
inquiry which was held in eastern command headquarters in
The Army chief’s ruling is in contrast to the recommendation
of the eastern Army commander Lt Gen V K Singh, who had
claimed that there was enough ground for the termination of
Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash’s service. Gen Singh had sought
administrative action against the three other officers, Lt Gen
PK Rath, corps commander Lt Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj
Gen P Sen.
But Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash has only been served a show-cause
notice asking him to explain why administrative action should
not be taken against him. He is due to retire on January 31. The
show-cause notice will allow him to retire without getting
punished while in service. He gets 30 days to respond.
Veteran Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.