A week after issuing a showcause notice to 3 corps commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, army chief Gen VK Singh on Friday said it was a senior officer’s prerogative to initiate disciplinary action against a junior.
He said it was the “moral duty” of the junior officer to reply to the notice instead of going to the media.
“Let me say a few hard facts. A showcause notice is issued on certain hard grounds by a senior officer to a junior officer... It is the moral duty of the junior officer to reply.”
Singh was speaking at a book launch function. The book, Assault On Merit, is authored by lawyer RK Anand and deals with civil-military relations.
The chief had issued a showcause notice to Suhag, who is tipped to take over as army chief in 2014, for alleged lapses in a failed intelligence operation in Assam's Jorhat district.
The defence ministry has taken cognisance of the discipline and vigilance ban imposed on Suhag. Such a ban puts promotions and transfers on hold, possibly jeopardising Suhag's chances of becoming Eastern Army commander on June 1.
The ministry has sought to know if army chief-designate Lt Gen Bikram Singh was kept in the loop in Suhag's case. Bikram Singh replaces VK Singh as chief on May 31.
Asked to comment on the claims made by former DIA chief Lt Gen Tejinder Singh that he has evidence that VK Singh authorised phone tapping of the political leadership, the army chief said if he has proof, he should furnish it.