Plea against Bikram Singh's appointment quashed
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a public interest litigation challenging government's decision to appoint Lt General Bikram Singh as the next Chief of Army Staff and termed the "communal angle" in the petition as "unfortunate."delhi Updated: Apr 24, 2012 12:41 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a public interest litigation challenging government's decision to appoint Lt General Bikram Singh as the next Chief of Army Staff and termed the "communal angle" in the petition as "unfortunate."
Filed by retired bureaucrats, including a naval chief, the plea alleged Singh could not be appointed as the army chief in wake of pending inquiry and cases, including a fake encounter in J&K.
Before dismissing the PIL, a bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice HL Gokhale summoned and perused the government file related to Singh's appointment.
The court's curiosity to examine the file arose after the petitioner's counsel sought to know whether the high-powered committee took into account the allegations pending against Singh before declaring him as the next chief.
"Not only three but as a matter of fact there are many allegations which were collected from various sources. Reasons have been given by the government," the court said after reading the file. It said: "Can a career of a person be put to stake on such bald allegations..."
It then ordered: "We have gone through the averments made in the petitions. We do not find any justiciable ground to entertain the petition."
The bench made it clear it will not get drawn into the age controversy related to incumbent army chief General VK Singh. "That issue is settled and we do not want you to argue it," the bench told petitioner's counsel while refusing her plea to hold in-camera proceedings.
Alleging the controversy over the outgoing chief's age was raked to ensure a succession plan favouring Singh, the petition also gave communal angle to the appointment.
But the bench clarified its order would not affect any legal proceedings in court or any other forum.