AFT directs Army to consider whistleblower for promotion:
Vijay MohanTribune,News Service.
Chandigarh, April 30Two days before an Army selection board is to assemble, the Armed Forces Tribunal today ordered that the name of a Lieutenant Colonel who had alleged victimisation for blowing the whistle on his commanding officer, be included in the list of prospective candidates and he be considered for promotion to Colonel.
The petitioner, Lt Col B.S. Goraya, was being considered for promotion by the selection board in December 2009, but a gap in his confidential report profile from September 2008 to May 2009 led to his name being excluded. The Army had debarred his commanding officer to write his confidential report.“In January this year we had also forwarded a statement of case to debar a Major General, the next superior officer in the hierarchy from initiating his confidential report on the ground that it could lack objectivity in assessment due to circumstances of the case,” his counsel, Rajeev Anand said. “The matter was also repeatedly taken up with Army Headquarters,” he added.
Colonel Goraya, Second-in-Command of an Army Supply Corps battalion, had complained against his commanding officer for various irregularities in May 2009. A court inquiry was ordered and the petitioner was attached to Headquarters Western Command in August last.
The bench comprising Justice Ghanshyam Prashad and Lt Gen H.S. Panag observed that it was clear that the officer had taken all legitimate actions to cover the gap in his confidential report profile and the onus was on the Military Secretary’s Branch army to give a decision to regularize the gap.Pointing out that due to no fault of his, the name of the petitioner was withdrawn from the selection board held in December 2009 and the same was likely to happen for the board scheduled in May, the bench directed that the officer be considered in the board due next week and the gap in his profile should not be taken into account to defer him from being considered.