With Supreme Court’s intervention, two Brigadiers have been promoted to the rank of Major General four years after they had retired from the Army and six years after they were due to be promoted in the force. The case involved two officers Brigadier Nalin Bhatia from the Corps of Intelligence and Brigadier VN Chaturvedi from the Education Corps who were the only officers of their respective batches to have been considered for promotion to the rank of Major General in 2015.
The counsel for the officers’ Colonel Indra Sen Singh (Retired) said the two officers were not promoted despite the fact that they were the only officers of their respective batch and despite their excellent profile which ranged from above-average to outstanding, without any adverse or negative report. “The reason for their non-promotion was even more baffling because admittedly they met all the laid down criteria for promotion and they were recommended for promotion by all the reporting officers without exception. The reasons for their non-selection were also not disclosed despite an RTI application filed on the matter,” Singh said.
The counsel said it seemed that the two officers were not promoted as they were perceived to be the “men of previous Army chief” by the then Army chief. A number of other officers from the Corps of Intelligence have alleged in the past that they were victimised for being close to former Army chief and now Union minister General VK Singh.
The two officers had separately approached the Armed Forces Tribunal but their pleas were rejected and they ultimately approached the apex court. “The Supreme Court allowed both the appeals by observing that the non-selection of the two officers was contrary to Army’s own policy and there is no presumption that a decision taken by persons occupying high posts is valid”, Col Singh said.
He said the two officers had to file a contempt petition in the top court to get its order implemented after which a notice was issued and the Military Secretary branch of the Army has now issued the promotion order in respect of both officers, promoting them to the rank of Major General after their retirement.