The Army has issued showcause notices to two officers for their alleged involvement in the scam at Field Petroleum Depot in Leh where water was being supplied in tankers instead of oil.
Both officers, one an lieutenant colonel and the other a Major of the Army Service Corps (ASC) were posted at the depot when the scandal broke out in July 2005. The local police and military intelligence had discovered seven tankers belonging to private transporters filled with water, though they were supposed to be supplying oil from the Indian Oil Corporation’s depot in Ambala. Both officers were suspended by the Army soon after the scam broke out and are currently attached to Headquarters “N” Area in Chandigarh pending the disposal of their case.
According to sources, the two officers have been issued showcause notices under Army Rule 14, which provides for removal of any commissioned officer from service after the withdrawal of the President’s pleasure. It is learnt that the two officers have asked the Army to provide them certain documents to enable them to give a detailed reply to the showcause notices.
Sources in the Northern Command of the Army say that the fact that the officers have been served notices under Army Rule 14 means that the Army is not keen to hold a General Courts Martial of these officers. “Maybe the involvement of some senior officers would come to the fore if a trial was held in a transparent manner,” an officer said on the condition of anonymity.