Lt Generals move AFT against Defence Secretary

Seek criminal contempt proceedings against him for defying Tribunal orders

New Delhi, August 31
Two serving Lieutenant Generals have approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) seeking criminal contempt proceedings against the Defence Secretary, accusing him of “open defiance” of the Tribunal’s orders.

In their pleas, Lt Generals J S Bajwa and P G Kamath have urged the AFT for initiating “appropriate criminal contempt proceedings against the named contemners as well as their subordinate officers who are responsible for open defiance of order dated June 2 passed by the Tribunal.”

In the order passed on June 2, the Tribunal had asked the government to keep one vacancy each of Corps Commander vacant for the two officers but the respondents did not do so, said S S Pandey, counsel for the two officers.

In the petitions, the officers have asked the Tribunal to “safeguard the dignity, efficacy and the authority of the Tribunal, and to give a clear message to the respondents/ contemners for such open defiance of the order by challenging the authority of this Tribunal.” This alleged act “needs to be viewed seriously,” they pleaded.

The two officers have named Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma as the main respondent in the case.

Bajwa and Kamath had filed a case before the Tribunal for being appointed as Corps Commanders, for which they were cleared by an Army selection board but were not given the charge as they did not have the required residual three years of service.

The officers had contended that three other Lt General-rank officers, including Lt Gen Chetinder Singh, N K Singh and present 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen S A Hasnain, also did not have three years of residual service but were given Corps Commander appointments by the government.

Bajwa is at present the Chief of Staff at the Kolkata-based Eastern Command and Kamath is holding the same office at the Central Command in Lucknow. — PTI

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