The Defence ministry has put its foot down on a lieutenant general’s promotion as deputy chief of army staff, as he is being investigated in a land scam case in Bengal.
The ministry scrapped the posting of P.K. Rath, who is facing a Court of Inquiry (CoI) for his role in granting a no-objection certificate (NOC) for land allotment to a ‘dubious’ educational society near Siliguri.
The inquiry found that the educational institution had falsely claimed to be affiliated with Ajmer-based Mayo College to obtain the NOC for 70 acres. The certificate was required as the land was located close to the military station.
The defence ministry has written to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and withdrawn Rath’s appointment. It has also turned down the army’s proposal to keep the post vacant until the CoI was over and has asked for a new panel of names for the post.
Ministry sources said the decision was taken as Rath faced serious allegations. The probe is in its final stages.
Rath was commanding the Sukna-based Headquarters 33 Corps outside Siliguri. He was to take over as deputy chief from November 1 but the appointment had been put on hold.