New Delhi: NDTV has been reporting on a corruption case that involves some of the most senior generals in the Indian Army. The Army's inquiry has recommended that one of them, the Military Secretary, be sacked. Two others could face disciplinary action. On Wednesday, new details have emerged of what the inquiry found against two of the main players.
The controversy revolves around a piece of land next to the army's 33 Corps Headquarters in Siliguri in West Bengal. In May 2008, the Army officially wrote to the West Bengal government, stating that it wanted to acquire this land. In October 2008, Lt General P K Rath took over as the 33 Corps Commander and reiterated the Army's decision to buy the land. A few days later, Military Secretary Lt General Avadesh Prakash visits Chumta tea estate during his official tour to 33 Corps, and refers businessman Dilip Agarwal, who wants to buy the land, to General Rath. In March this year, 33 Corps under General Rath granted the land to Agarwal with a no-objection certificate.
The Army's inquiry concludes that Lt General Prakash "became a facilitator in promoting (his friend) Dilip Agarwal's business. He took undue interest in furthering the vested agenda of the businessman and family friend by using his position." As the army's Military Secretary, Prakash is one of eight principal staff officers to the Army chief. The Eastern Army Commander, Lieutenant General V K Singh, has recommended Prakash's dismissal.
For Lt General PK Rath, the inquiry states that his decision was "hasty and top-driven action." He's also blamed for "not seeking the concurrence of the Eastern Command."
The final decision on what happens to the officers rests with the Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor.