Lt Gen Ravi Dastane challenges promotion of Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra

Gen Bikram Singh

A senior Lt Gen has challenged the promotion of two colleagues of his rank as Army Commanders and moved the Armed Forces Tribunal seeking quashing of such a move while seeking his own elevation to that post.

The two officers in question are Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is likely to be the successor of Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh in 2014, and Western Army Commander Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra.

Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Ravi Dastane recently filed the plea before the AFT seeking elevation as an Army Commander and quashing of appointment of these two officers, sources said.

If the plea is accepted, it can create a possible succession row in the force.

In his petition filed by advocate S K Sanan, Dastane has pleaded that "appointment of respondent number 3 and 4 (Lt Gen Dalbir Singh and Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra respectively) to be quashed being in violation of a decision in Lt Gen Raj Kadyan's case."

Dastane has asked the AFT to direct the Defence Ministry to give him the "status and appointment of Army Commander from June 1, 2012".

Dastane's Statutory Complaint in this regard has already been rejected by the Army headquarters and the Defence Ministry had sent it to the Law Ministry for its advice.

Dastane's previous counsel Maj S S Pandey had earlier said that on June 1, the Government had kept the post of Eastern Army Commander vacant for two to three days before Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag was appointed whereas Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachhra was appointed as the Western Army Commander on June 1.

The post was not filled as just before retirement, Gen V K Singh had put Lt Gen Suhag under a discipline and vigilance ban for a failed intelligence operation in Assam but the ban was lifted within 72 hours of Gen Bikram Singh assuming office.

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