V K Singh
Supreme Court refuses stay on Lt Gen Suhag's appointment as next Army Chief based on Lt Gen V K Singh and Gen Ravi Dastane's allegations.Reuters

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the petition filed by Lt Gen Ravi Dastane refusing to stay the appointment of Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag as the next Army Chief.

The bench of Justices headed by Justice T S Thakur said that they don't see any reason behind holding his appointment and hence adjourned the case for the next hearing in September.

"There is no reason why should we stay," The Hindu quoted the bench.

Dastane had filed a petition in the SC alleging that Suhag's selection as the next Army Chief is biased. However, the Centre refuted the allegations and said that he was appointed based on his merits, which fulfilled the criteria for the designated post.

Earlier in 2012, Dastane had dragged the government to court for alleged favouritism in offering the post of Army Commander to Suhag and denying him the same. He alleged that there were violations in his selection procedure as he was already facing charges in the military court.

Those charges were slapped by the then Army Chief Gen V K Singh, alleging that the unit acting under his command led out an illegal raid and burglary, while Suhag was posted as Dimapur-based 3 Corps commander. He had imposed a Disciplinary and Vigilance (DV) ban on him.

However, the ban was later lifted by Lt Gen Bikram Singh and Suhag was appointed as the Army Commander. Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi has reportedly confirmed that he was freed from all allegations and charges in 2012.

The Centre had earlier refuted Minister of Development of North Eastern Region V K Singh's allegations, citing it as baseless and alleging that he used it to stall Suhag's promotion.

"The alleged lapses observed by the then COAS, as reflected in show cause notice, were premeditated and issued in utter disregard to the legal provisions governing the court of inquiry, principles of natural justice....the lapses were vague, based on presumptions and legally and factually not maintainable," The Hindu cited a statement produced before SC by The Ministry of Defence.

On completion of Gen Bikram Singh's tenure as the 25th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army on 31 July, Suhag will be appointed as the next Army Chief. His appointment was announced during the regime of UPA-II government.

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