Vice-Admiral Bimal Verma, who has been superseded by his junior Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh for the post of the Indian Navy chief, has now landed in another controversy. His daughter Rhea, a lawyer who has filed a case against the government's decision to overlook his seniority, has allegedly been staying at a Naval officers' mess, Kota House, which is located in the heart of the national capital for more than 10 years. This is a clear violation of the rules set up for the naval officers who are in transit.
The Print reported that Rhea has been living at Kota House since 2008. However, Rhea defended herself and claimed that she moved in only in 2013. She said her sister used to stay her before she moved in. Her elder sister eventually moved out of the transit house after getting married last year.
Constructed by Maharaja Sir Umed Singh II during the British era, the iconic place was handed over to the Ministry of Defence in the early 1960s for use as an armed forces hostel. It eventually went on to become the first Naval officers' mess in Delhi. Kota House has different housing accommodations including women's hostel, transit house and suites which are available for officers in transit or for families of officers who get posted out of Delhi. Out of all these accommodations, the hostel facility is available for the children of officers, during their course of education in the national capital. The other accommodation is completely temporary in nature and can only be used for a maximum period of three months.
Nevertheless, in clear violation of the rules, Vice-Admiral Verma's family has been using the subsidised accommodation and food for around 11 years now. One of the officers said, "The women's hostel is only meant for those who are studying and not for someone who is working. The transit accommodation is meant for a limited period as a short-term arrangement. But then rules are bent when senior officers come into play."
However, in another development, the Armed Forces Tribunal has given three weeks time to the Ministry of Defence to take a decision on the petition filed by Vice-Admiral Verma. The Modi government had announced Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy chief overlooking Vice-Admiral Verma's seniority.