‘Lt Gen pushed friend’s cause’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘Lt Gen pushed friend’s cause’

delhi Updated: Jan 13, 2010 23:46 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times
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Military secretary Lieutenant General Avadhesh Prakash concealed information and took undue interest in pushing the interests of a friend, an army inquiry on the Sukna land deal near Siliguri has revealed.

Prakash has gone on a 10-day leave after he was served a show-cause notice for administrative action in the case.

Siliguri-based businessman Dilip Agarwal, Prakash’s friend, had claimed that his educational society was affiliated to Mayo College, Ajmer, to get 70 acres near the Sukna military station.

The court of inquiry report sent to the headquarters has blamed Prakash for “concealing information, taking undue interest in furthering the vested agenda of Mr Dilip Agarwal, a civilian businessman and friend, using his position... to pressurise the staff of Headquarters 33 Corps and influencing Lieutenant General PK Rath”.

The Eastern Army Commander had recommended that Prakash be sacked but he has only been served a show-cause notice for administrative action. Army chief General Deepak Kapoor on Monday ordered disciplinary action against Rath that could lead to a court martial. Show-cause notices were served on two other generals.

Defence Minister AK Antony said on Wednesday that Kapoor had forwarded a report to the ministry that he would take disciplinary and administrative action against the generals.

The inquiry report said Prakash said he was not aware of Agarwal’s efforts to get franchise of Mayo College, but “he accompanied him to Jodhpur... and visited Mayo College”.

The probe also found that Agarwal had carried out a construction project at detachment IMTRAT Rear (Indian Military Training Team in Bhutan) in 2006 when the military secretary was the commandant.

The inquiry says “call records of 20 March 2009 clearly indicate conversations with Dilip Agarwal at the time the memorandum of understanding (for the land) was being signed”.

The report has blamed Rath for “his pre-mediated (sic) action to grant a verbal ‘no-objection’ and signing of a MoU without any verification...”.