New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directs the Central Government to place before it the file pertaining to the appointment of Lieutenant General Bikram Singh as Army Chief-designate. The apex court also asked for the service record of Lt Gen Bikram Singh, who has been accused of being involved in a fake encounter in the Kashmir Valley during a counter-insurgency operation.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on April 4 challenging the recommendation to appoint LT Gen Bikram Singh as the next chief of the Indian Army. The PIL also accused Lt Gen Bikram Singh of failing to act against officers accused of sexual harassment when he was heading a peacekeeping force in Congo.
The Supreme Court wants to inspect whether the Kashmir encounter and Congo court of inquiry against Lt Gen Bikram Singh was considered by the Cabinet Committee of Appointment. While refusing to hold an in-camera proceeding of its hearing on the apex court made it clear that the court would not go again into age row of outgoing Army Chief General VK Singh.
The Centre opposed the PIL saying it had been filed with malafide intention and for raising the General's VK Singh's age controversy again. The PIL was filed by several prominent citizens including former chief election commissioner N Gopalswami and former Navy Chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas.
The petitioners claim that General Singh cannot be elevated as there is a pending case against him in a fake encounter case in Jammu and Kashmir. He is scheduled to take over as the chief of the 1.13 million strong Indian Army after General VK Singh retires on May 31, 2012.