New Delhi, May 27 (Calcutta Tube) In a major embarrassment for the Indian Army, a military tribunal has ruled that a senior commander had falsified records of the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan that cost a brigadier a promotion.
The Armed Forces Tribunal has directed the army to set the records straight and consider Brigadier (retd) Devinder Singh, who commanded the Batalik-based 70 Infantry Brigade during the Kargil war, for a notional promotion to major general rank.
Lt. Gen. Kishan Pal, who headed the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, had written Singh’s annual confidential report allegedly belittling his achievements by noting that he had only partial command of the 70 Infantry Brigade. The 15 Corps was responsible for guarding the Line of Control in Kashmir.
Justice A.K. Mathur, in his order, ruled that ‘the annual confidential reports were not written in an objective and unbiased manner’.
The tribunal also directed the Directorate of Military Operations to rewrite portions of ‘Op. Vijay: Account of the War in Kargil’. A volume of the official history asserts that while ‘the commander 70 Infantry Brigade (Singh) controlled operations on the Western Flank (Jubbar Complex), Deputy (General Officer in Command) GOC 3 Infantry Division controlled the Stangba-Khalubar Ridge operations’.
Singh, in his plea, had challenged the post-Kargil operations report that stated that four of his most successful battalions were commanded by the then Deputy GOC of 3 Infantry Division, Brigadier Ashok Duggal.
‘For reasons best known to Lt. Gen. Kishan Pal, he was favouring and giving credit to Duggal and my command tenure was shown in bad light. I had to suffer a lot because of this,’ Singh told reporters here.
He said that as per the tribunal order, he would now be considered for notional promotion to the rank of a major general.
‘The records about the operations by my brigade in the war will also be set straight,’ he said.
An army officer said that they were yet to receive a copy of the tribunal’s copy.
‘As soon as we get it, it will be analysed and action will follow,’ the offcer told IANS.
Singh had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court in 2006 and this transferred to the tribunal when it was created last year.